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Whether you’re paying attention or not, you’re surrounded by symbols.

Birds like 鳩 (hato, doves/pigeons) and 鶴 (tsuru, cranes), flowers like バラ (bara, roses) and 桜 (sakura, cherry blossoms), animals like 狐 (kitsune, foxes) and 猫 (neko, cats) — they appear everywhere in material, visual and linguistic culture around the world. Naturally, they also appear in Japan, but not always in the same way or with the same universal meaning.

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PHOTO GALLERY (CLICK TO ENLARGE)