What Does a Goldfish Symbolize in Japan?

In Japan as well as China, the goldfish is seen as a symbol of wealth and good luck. Within Feng Shui, the goldfish has long been viewed as a symbol of surplus and abundance.

Within Chinese art, the goldfish serves as a positive symbol, dating all the way back to the Tang Dynasty. Chinese traders brought goldfish to Japan in the 1500s, selling them as pets for the samurai and nobility. Goldfish breeding competitions are popular throughout Japan, as goldfish clubs work to produce unique genetic strains. They remain a central element in popular culture and art in modern Japan.