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Published on 06.28.2016
"Is Japan too accommodating?" This question was mainly brought about due to Japanese Government's contemplation to change the symbol for Buddhist temples on map for foreigners because they fear tourists will confuse it for a Nazi swastika.
The controversial "Manji" mark is actually used to indicate happiness and prosperity, and it actually has been used in Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism for centuries, meaning it bears no relation to the Nazi whatsoever. In addition, while the Nazi swastika is diagonal, the manji is square - not to mention it points counter-clockwise, which means in the opposite direction of the swastika.
Before reaching the final conclusion, the government has gathered public opinions regarding this proposal to change map symbols for foreigners, and apparently, the map symbol for Buddhist temples remains unchanged!
You can see the changes of map symbols for overseas visitors applied since April 2016 here: http://www.gsi.go.jp/kokusaikoryu/kokusaikoryu-e30098.html.
There are some visibly reasonable adjustments in the new list of symbols. For example, the old symbol for police office was just a simple "x", and most did not recognize what it stood for. In the new change, we can see a police officer saluting, which makes the symbol a lot clearer, doesn't it?
While it is true that the Japanese may be a little too accommodating when proposing the change of the manji symbol on maps for foreigners, the way they conduct public survey to decide whether to impose the change or not is admirable.
Source: Gimmeabreakman (Youtube)