What was the meaning of the swastika before becoming the emblem of the Nazi party?

Who created the swastika?

Since the 1930s, the swastika has been associated with the Nazi party and Adolf Hitler, its founder, who made it a symbol of this movement. However, this emblem has much more positive origins. Historically, the swastika is called swastika (Where swastika), which means well-being or good fortune in Sanskrit. A religious and spiritual symbol, it is found in many cultures, from Europe to Oceania. According to historians, the first traces of swastika date from the Neolithic period, and it does not, strictly speaking, have a creator.

The hooked cross that represents it seems to have been used in Eurasia almost 7,000 years ago to visualize the different impacts of sunlight during the day. Sacred symbol in Buddhism, Hinduism, but also Odinism and Jainism, it is also found in Europe on pre-Christian artefacts. The story of swastika therefore goes back a very long way and covers all the continents.

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The swastika in India: what does it mean?

We find traces of swastika in the mahabharatathe great sacred book of Hinduism, written from the 5th century BC. swastika is thus a central symbol in this religious current, which is the most widespread in Indian territory. An auspicious symbol, it represents several positive forces, such as Ganesh, the most revered god of Hindu worship. In many temples, the swastika is thus ubiquitous.

In Jainism, another well-established religion in India, believers also use this symbol on the threshold of their house, their door, or even to accompany their offerings. In this religion, the 4 branches of swastika symbolically represent the 4 worlds in which man can be reborn: the earth, the animal or vegetable world, the world of the spirit and hell.

In contemporary India, we can see this pattern in many places of everyday life: at bus stops, on the front of shops, on the back of vehicles… It carries a message of peace and harmony. hope that the Indians have adopted in their daily lives.

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Why the swastika in Tokyo Revengers?

Tokyo Revengers is a Japanese manga created in 2017 and quickly became very popular in Japan, then in the rest of the world. It was in 2019 that Glénat editions published this shonen-type manga (editorial line characterizing a genre of manga aimed at male adolescents) in a French version. Building on this success, the manga will be declined in a series of animated films, and a film will even be released on the big screen.

Combining time travel, thriller and fights, this manga has sparked controversy due to the presence of the swastika, visible in multiple situations. Symbol in the manga of the Toman gang, a reference of the series, it represents here the Buddhist cross, or peace and prosperity. It is written on the uniforms, motorcycles, meeting places of the gang members, but there is a censored version of the merchandising marketed around this manga, without this cross. And this, in order to avoid controversy, in particular with the Western public for whom the swastika is primarily associated with the emblem of the Nazi party.

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What was the meaning of the swastika before becoming the emblem of the Nazi party?