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Grasshoppers in Japanese Culture

Updated April 17, 2017

Many animals and insects have specific meanings in Japanese culture and mythology. The grasshopper, along with other insects and small creatures, features prominently in several aspects of Japanese culture. Grasshoppers signify good luck to the Japanese.

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Chinese noblemen introduced the practice of listening to "singing insects," such as crickets and grasshoppers, to Japan. The Japanese court particularly enjoyed this form of entertainment, typically as a seasonal event.


Images of grasshoppers often appear in Japanese paintings, such as Shibata Zeshin's painted scroll "Grasshopper and Flowering Vine" from 1880. You can find Japanese good luck charms in the shape of grasshoppers, or live grasshoppers kept as pets.

Fun Fact

Though grasshoppers bring good luck in Japan, they are also a source of food. You can find grasshoppers on the menu at restaurants or buy them individually to cook at home. Grasshoppers are most commonly served fried.

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About the Author

Pamela Ann Ludwig has lived, worked and studied on five continents. Her articles can be seen online at various websites. She holds a Master of Arts degree in history from San Francisco State University and has experience teaching different dance disciplines as well as English to speakers of other languages.

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