Fish and seafood are widely eaten in Japan, but there are certain types that are important beyond meal times. The koi fish is venerated across the country because of what it symbolises, and it remains a significant part of Japan’s national identity even in the 21st century.
The koi fish is thought to bring luck, fortune and prosperity, which is why Japanese people regard it so highly. The fish is also linked to hard work, perseverance, courage, strength in adversity and individual advancement, both materially and spiritually. Koi fish – which actually originate from China despite being more associated with Japan today – are often kept in ponds and water gardens, with their vibrant colours and patterned scales making them instantly recognisable.
There is a famous Japanese legend concerning koi fish. A large school were swimming against the current in the Yellow River in China. It was hard work but they persevered, eventually reaching the waterfall at the end of the river. At this stage many gave up, unwilling to continue to exert any more effort and instead letting the flow of the water carry them back downstream.
Others, though, were not ready to quit having put in so much work already. They wanted to reach the top of the waterfall, and attempted to jump through the air to reach it. It did not work – they lacked the power and energy, and were teased by a group of demons who were watching their efforts from nearby. The demons then decided to increase the height of the waterfall further, so that they could get even more entertainment from the fish’s futile efforts. If these koi fish were later caught, they faced death on the cutting board, passing away nobly in the manner of a samurai.
Over time, more and more members of the school gave up, but after a hundred years of leaping one koi fish was able to reach the summit of the waterfall, a task which had seemed impossible. The gods duly commended the fish for its bravery, aspiration, determination and never-say-die attitude, before turning it into a golden dragon, symbolising power, strength and might.
It is for this reason that koi fish continue to be associated with such positive qualities. The message to take from the tale is that you should not give up easily when you are pursuing something, and that hard work and doggedness will often be rewarded in the long run – even if there are no short-term gains or instant sources of gratification.
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There is another lesson we can take from the legend of the koi fish and the waterfall. It may have taken the successful fish a long time to achieve its goal, but it did not look for shortcuts or ways to cheat that could have resulted in a negative outcome, even if they appeared to be tempting at first glance.
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But just as important as our promotions, guidance and expertise is your own attitude and approach to casino online. If you show the qualities that made the koi fish legendary, together we can make something special.