Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tombo とんぼ

I took a picture of a damselfly among sakura blossoms back in March, when they were not a common site. Now many dragonflies and damselflies are darting around areas with still-open water. In Japan dragonflies are symbols of courage, strength, and happiness, and they often appear in art and literature, especially haiku. The Japanese love for dragonflies is reflected by the fact that there are traditional names for almost all of the 200 species of dragonflies found in and around Japan. Japanese children catch large dragonflies as a game, using a hair like thread with a small pebble tied to each end, which they throw into the air. The dragonfly mistakes the pebbles for prey, gets tangled in the hair, and is dragged to the ground by the weight.

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