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Motif Information
Motif manji 01.png
Rōmaji Manji
English Swastika
Kana まんじ
Season All-Season
Seasonal Exceptions None
Auspicious No
Motif Type Geometric

Manji (万字, 卍) was introduced to Japan along with Buddhism in the Asuka period from China.[1] Manji originated in India and was spread along with Buddhist teachings throughout Asia.

Seasonal Use, Exceptions & Pairings

A geometric motif generally has no season of it's own and thus can be worn throughout the year.

Motif Connotations & Symbolism

Manji is strongly associated with Buddhism. [2]

Auspicious Nature

Manji (卍) can be read as an alternate way of writing 万 (lit. myriad). It is strongly associated with the Buddhist concept of eternity.[3] It can also be read literally as "ten thousand" ans can be used to represent all of creation.

Common Motif Pairings

  • Manji are often interconnected into a pattern called sayagata. Sayagata is often paired with chrysanthemum, orchids, plum blossom, and bamboo, so those may be commonly seen with manji.

Identification & Style Variations

Most manji depicted are left facing. Right facing manji are called gyaku manji (逆卍, reverse manji), migi manji (右卍, right manji), or kagi jūji (鉤十字, hook cross). Interconnected manji create the sayagata motif.

Motif Examples

Motif in Literature & Other Usage

Discussion of Manji? Origins, use in Japan, historic propaganda use (WWII), kamon, religious uses. Probably lots of images illustrating different uses.

link to kamon: http://www.otomiya.com/kamon/moji/manji.htm

Article Notes

Relevant Threads / Discussions

Authors & Contributors

Author/s: Erica Pai (Iyolin (IG Username))

Contributors: n/a


  1. Wikipedia article on Buddhism in Japan. Accessed March 27, 2017.
  2. Baird, Merrily. Symbols of Japan: Thematic Motifs in Art and Design. Rizzoli. 2001. p.232.
  3. Wikipedia article on Swastika. Accessed March 27, 2017.