2006/08/20

Many Happy Returns

The green tree frog - Amagaeru - is very common in Japan. Last night, this one climbed up the inside of our sun shade outside the sliding screen door. It was a good spot for it to catch insects that landed on the screen. In Hawaii and Fiji, the common house gecko uses the same strategy.

Somehow, the frog looks more cute than a gecko to me.



The generic word for frog in Japanese is kaeru. Kaeru also means "to return", so small frog shaped charms are a common item for travelers to carry with them in hopes for a safe return.

Our amagaeru friend is welcome to return to our kitchen window to eat insects anytime.

10 comments:

nzm said...

Definitely cuter than geckos!

I had a big gecko who lived in my bedroom in Fiji - he was about 6" long and so transparent that I could see the moths fluttering in his stomach as they died!

He also had a knack of falling off the ceiling. Catlike, he'd turn himself over, splay out his little legs, and land with a splat on the floor - or worse, quietly onto my bed!

I called him Geronimo because of his skydiving propensity!

The Moody Minstrel said...

"Kaeru" can also mean "change", which makes me wonder if people who have gender-crossing operations also buy those charms.

agus said...

Time to get myself a cute froggy charm, I'm thinking jade green.

Happysurfer said...

Frogs are also auspicious for Chinese. It symbolises wealth, I think.

Momo the Wonder Dog said...

I like Kermit the Frog's song:
"It's Not Easy Bein' Green" (lyrics by Joe Rapposo)

It's not that easy bein' green;
Having to spend each day the color of the leaves.
When I think it could be nicer being red, or yellow or gold-
or something much more colorful like that.

It's not easy bein' green.
It seems you blend in with so many other ordinary things.
And people tend to pass you over 'cause you're not standing out like flashy sparkles in the water- or stars in the sky.

But green's the color of Spring.
And green can be cool and friendly-like.
And green can be big like an ocean, or important like a mountain, or tall like a tree.

When green is all there is to be
It could make you wonder why, but why wonder why? Wonder,
I am green and it'll do fine, it's beautiful!
And I think it's what I want to be.

Pandabonium said...

NZM - the geckos in Hawaii crawl around on the windows at night catching bugs and you can see their insides as well. The ones in Fiji are much bigger - too big for cuteness in my opinion, but I guess if they eat pests and avoid pooping or falling on you their OK to have around.

Moody - hmmm. I won't speculate what such an amulet might look like.

Agus - a jade charm, nice.

Happy - I didn't know that. But then, the list of things I don't know is pretty long. ;^)

Momo - you were a good girl for your bath today. Nice song, but you are mostly white, with some light brown and black, not green.

Happysurfer said...

Momo, that's a very nice song. I agree with Pandabonium you are mostly white - and pretty too, I might add.

Momo the Wonder Dog said...

Aw, thank you Happysurfer. Face licks, tail wags.

Robin said...

hmmm.. I was once given a little jade frog from a Japanese lady, in fact she runs a ryokan in Kyoto, my fav Jap city.

Now I know what it means, apparently, its charm have not worked yet, since I found no time to visit Japan this year.

Next year perhaps. and I will bring a jade cicada to her.

Pandabonium said...

Or perhaps the charm was for a safe return to your home, in which case it has worked.