Three wise monkeys

Peter J. Claus pclaus at
Mon Jan 13 02:00:02 UTC 1997

The folklorist, Wolfgang Mieder, has a long and interesting essay on this
motif in his book Tradition and Innovation in Folklore (or something like
that). As I remember, he traces it from India (but I'm not certain of
this) but definitely from China and Japan and its popularity in America
from WW2 returning occupation forces. 

Peter Claus

On Sun, 12 Jan 1997, John Richards wrote:

> Date: Sun, 12 Jan 1997 21:05:32 GMT
> From: John Richards <jhr at>
> Reply-To: indology at
> To: Members of the list <indology at>
> Subject: Three wise monkeys
> Has anyone any idea where the idea of the three wise monkeys, see no
> evil, hear no evil, speak no evil, comes from?
> It would seem pretty certainly Eastern - but whether Indian or Chinese
> I would be hard put to guess.
> John
> -- 
> John Richards
> Stackpole Elidor (UK)
> jhr at
> Home Page

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list