The swastika is included as part of the Chinese script in the form of the character "萬" (pinyin: wàn) and has Unicode encodings U+534D 卍 (left-facing) and U+5350 卐 (right-facing).
In Unicode 5.2, four swastika symbols were added to the Tibetan block: U+0FD5 ࿕ (right-facing), U+0FD6 ࿖ (left-facing), U+0FD7 ࿗ (right-facing with dots) and U+0FD8 ࿘ (left-facing with dots).
Some sources indicate that the Chinese Empress Wu (武則天) (684–704) of the Tang Dynasty decreed that the swastika would be used as an alternative symbol of the Sun.
The Mandarin "wan" is a homophone for the number 10,000 and is commonly used to represent the whole of Creation, e.g. 'the myriad things' in the Dao De Jing.
In Japan, the swastika is called manji. Since the Middle Ages, it has been used as a coat of arms by various Japanese families. On Japanese maps, a swastika (left-facing and horizontal) is used to mark the location of a Buddhist temple. The right-facing manji is often referred to as the gyaku manji (逆卍, lit. "reverse manji"), and can also be called kagi jūji (literally "hook cross").
In Chinese and Japanese art, the swastika is often found as part of a repeating pattern. One common pattern, called sayagata in Japanese, comprises left- and right-facing swastikas joined by lines. As the negative space between the lines has a distinctive shape, the sayagata pattern is sometimes called the "key fret" motif in English.
I'm guessing it's some kind of symbol for longevity.
· 9 years ago