Three Symbols Sun, Crane and Cherry Blossom in Japanese Culture

In many cultures the Sun has been worshipped for thousands of years.  It represented the highest spiritual power in the Universe. In the solar system the Sun is the star around which all other heavenly bodies gravitate.  Its brightness illuminating all the planets making life possible. The ancients recognized it as the source of the cycle of life. Some believe it is a representation of our higher selves.  Other cultures worshipped the Sun as they believed it was God.

In Japan the Sun is very significant as it is called “Land of the Rising Sun” and is featured on the national flag. From China it appears that the Sun arises from the direction of Japan. The Japanese call their country “Nippon” or Nihon” which translated means “The Source of the Sun” in English it loosely translates as “Land of the Rising Sun”. Their Emperor was considered to be the highest authority of the Shinto religion as they were seen to be the direct descendants of the Sun goddess Amaterasu (Shinto).

In Reiki the deity connection to the Sun is Dainichi Nyorai (Mahâvairocana) “The Great Sun Buddha” The all pervading Light of the Universe – The Great Bright Light the source of Reiki.
The Crane flying across the Sun represents freedom of the individual as they become One with The Great Bright Light.  In Japan the Crane or tsuru is titled “Bird of Happiness” it is one of three mystical or holy creatures (the others are – dragon and tortoise) the crane symbolizes purity, peace and eternal youth. It is thought to have a life span of a thousand years. The red crowned crane refers to transformed Taoist Immortals. The Immortals sometimes were said to have magical abilities to transform into cranes in order to fly on various journeys. It is believed that cranes lifted people to the realms of enlightenment; their  powerful wings were believed to be able to carry souls up to heaven.

If one sees a crane it is a symbol asking you to look inward, to connect to your own inner wisdom and create balance to your inner and outer life.

The Cherry Blossom “Sakura” is very symbolic in Japanese culture it has been honored since 710 – 794C. The blossom time is revered by the Japanese where they have Hanami picnics “looking at flowers”.  As it falls it is known as Sakura Snow representing the fleetness of life so one should make sure they live life well. It is a symbol of spiritual awareness in Buddhism representing life, death and renewal.

For a long time I knew that the photo on the front page of the Reiki East and West manuals needed to change and that at the right time a new symbol would appear.  During a recent retreat while meditating, the image of the crane flying across the sun appeared.  At the same time I kept seeing Cherry Blossom and knew that had to be included.  As soon as I saw the symbol I knew that this was the time for the change.

© Copyright  Symbol of “Crane Flying across the Sun”  J. M. Wills 08/03/2017

© Copyright Photo of “Cherry Blossom”  J. M. Wills 09/03/2017