Non Nazi Swastika
The original symbol: As used before the Nazis tainted it, and as it's still used in many cultures.
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(permanent link) added: 2012-03-20 07:38:06 sponsor: Xzenu edited by: saintdane05 (last reply: 2012-10-05 12:38:22)

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The Swastika is an ancient Sun symbol, used in many cultures throughout history. If you see a Swastika in a work - any work - made in the 1920:es or earlier, the symbol has nothing to do with racism or nationalism or hatred or anything else associated with Those Wacky Nazis.

It's usually golden rather than black, and usually inverted compared to the swastika of the Nazis. Usually, but far from always - there's lots of variants.

Polar opposite of A Nazi by Any Other Name: this trope one is about cases where the most famous symbol of Nazism actually doesn't have anything to do with Nazism.


Examples

Anime and Manga
  • YuYu Hakusho had a minor villain with a swastika tattooed on his forehead. This was removed in the English dub.

  • Manji of Blade of the Immortal has the swastika symbol on the back of his clothes as a reference to immortality. In fact, manji is the Japanese name for the swastika symbol. In the original version, it's drawn in the "Nazi direction", but in English translation was flipped to the "Buddhist direction".
  • In Bleach, Ichigo's bankai incorporates swastika shapes, usually as the guard of his sword.
  • In One Piece a swastika is incorporated in the crest of the Whitebeard pirates
  • Both Ran and Yukari Yakumo from Perfect Cherry Blossom use a manji-themed spellcard in their battles with you. Ran's version is Shikigami's Shot "Ultimate Buddhist" and Yukari's is Evil Spirits "Butterfly in the Zen Temple."
Comic Books

  • In Sin City, the Asian assassin Miho throws a large shuriken in the shape of a manji.

Film
  • In The Da Vinci Code, Langdon is making a conference. He shows part of an image of a swastika, everyone thinks about nazis, then Langdon shows the complete image, with a clearly buddhist context.
  • In Kal Ho Naa Ho, Naina and Jennifer paint a swastika in the window of their restaurant - in New York - as part of its revamping. No one comments on this, and the new concept is a huge success.

Literature
  • One autobiography of the last Tzar mentions The Empress being very fond of the Swastika.
  • In The Great Gatsby, the Jewish gangster Meyer Wolfsheim operates out of the "Swastika Club" (presumably, like many older buildings, it has that design on it). There is some argument though that this wasn't an innocent usage, as Wolfsheim is something of an anti-Semitic caricature, and the Nazi movement had already adopted it as their symbol by the time the novel was written, and Fitzgerald was fairly knowledgeable of white supremacist movements.

Live-Action Television
  • Kolchak: The Night Stalker: in the Rakshasa episode, Kolchak sought wisdom from an emigrant from India, who had swastikas. The man explained that in his culture they were holy symbols.

Tabletop Games
  • One of the Pokémon trading card game cards, the Koga's Ninja Trick card, originally had the symbol on it in mirror image until people complained and it was altered.

Video Games
  • Both Ran and Yukari Yakumo from Perfect Cherry Blossom use a manji-themed spellcard in their battles with you. Ran's version is Shikigami's Shot "Ultimate Buddhist" and Yukari's is Evil Spirits "Butterfly in the Zen Temple."
  • This is set up purposefully in Epic Battle Fantasy 2. The Big Bad Lance is portrayed as a neo-Nazi intent on destroying the world to rebuild it. However, if one looks carefully at his uniform, his swastika is facing the other direction from the Nazi swastika to form the Buddhist symbol for peace, an appropriate reflection of his ultimate motives.
  • The original The Legend of Zelda had a dungeon shaped like a swastika, described as "manji" in the manual. Definitely a case of Values Dissonance.

Real Life

  • Here's a list of cultures and religions that have used the swastika.
    • Hinduism: A representation of the god Ganesh, as an emblem of good fortune, to evoke "Shakti".
    • Buddhism: As a representation of eternity.
    • China and Japan: Eternity and the number 10,000. Also used in Japan to mark the locations of Buddhist temples on maps.
    • Jainism: Even more prominent than in Buddhism or Hinduism; all holy books and temples must bear the swastika.
    • Iran: A golden necklace of three swastikas at least three thousand years old was found.
    • Ural Mountains: The Bashkir people feature the swastika prominently in their ancient iconography.
    • Armenia: The swastika was prominent in medieval architecture, such as churches and fortresses.
    • Pre-Columbian America: The swastika has been found associated with cultures throughout North and South America, including the First Nations of Canada, the Navajo and Hopi of the southwestern US, the Mississippian culture of the east and southeast US, and the Kuna people of Panama. Some of these, are still in use today, though efforts are made to distance them from the Nazis.
    • Ancient Grome: A symbol of eternal motion, representing a windmill or watermill. Typically not found alone, but rather as part of a repeating design.
    • Celtic: Pre-Christian Celts used swastikas on their metalwork and stonework.
    • Germans: Bore special importance in funerary symbols, possibly as an emblem of Thor.
    • Illyria (South-eastern Europe): Represented the sun.
    • Baltics: Pre-Christian. The two versions were called the fire cross and the thunder cross, and represented the Thunder God Perkons and the sun.
    • Slavic: Pre-Christian. Found in ornamentation.
    • Sami (Arctic Europeans): A double cross or double axe is found on their drums, thought to represent the thunder god, a derivation of Thor.
  • In several parts of Asia such as Japan, South Korea, and Thailand, the manji is commonly seen on buddhist temples and service centers.
  • The Raelians hold an annual "take back the swastika" day to try to rehabilitate the public's perception of the swatika.
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