A lunar cycle of poems project - night 13
- ~~~Night 13 ( http://stardate.org/nightsky/moon ) ~~~
"Even a lowly insect
Waits upon the great Lord.
Your form it will bear,
Yamato, land of the dragonfly." - Emperor Yuryaku (457 - 497ad).
This poem was written after a stinging or biting bug was said to have landed on the bare skin of the Emperor, and a dragonfly then swooped in and ate the bug before it could sting or bite him. In Japanese culture there are many myths and tales surrounding dragonflies. Some of the oldest of the stories date back into around 600BC.
Japan has many different kinds of dragonflies, and as a culture through all of period has regarded them favorably as good omens. It is believed that dragonflies are the steeds of the recently departed ancestors who return for the summer feast known as O-bon. the name of the dragonfly in Japanese is 'tombo', and is also known as 'shogun mushi' and 'katsu mushi'.
Source: Japanese Animal Art - Antique & Contemporary by Lea Baten