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Motif Information
Motif tako 01.jpg
Rōmaji Tako
English Octopus
Kanji 章魚
Kana タコ
Season #
Seasonal Exceptions #
Auspicious Yes
Motif Type Sea Animal

Tako is an octopus. Many species of octopus are native to the waters surrounding Japan, including the webfoot octopus (Octopus membranaceus), chestnut octopus (Octopus conispadiceus), and giant Pacific octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini).

Seasonal Use, Exceptions & Pairings

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Motif Connotations & Symbolism

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Auspicious Nature

Tako is homonym with "great happiness" (幸[1]) and symbolizes having numerous children.[2]

Common Motif Pairings

Identification & Style Variations

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Motif Examples

Motif in Literature & Other Usage

Gungyo-zu Tako (群魚図蛸, 1765-6) by Itō Jakuchū in the collection of the Imperial Household Agency (宮内庁三の丸尚蔵館)

Tako is also homophonous with kite (凧, tako) and is a popular decoration for kites due to the visual pun.

In Poetry

Article Notes

Relevant Threads / Discussions

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  1. Haig, John. Nelson, Andrew. 新版ネルソン漢英辞典. Tuttle Publishing. 1997. p. 276.
  2. Kurstin, Joseph. Netsuke:Story Carvings of Old Japan. Joseph Kurstin. 1994. p.61.

Image Credits

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Authors & Contributors

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