national animals - panda

The National Animals of East Asia

The National Animals of Japan, China and South Korea

Today we want to look at the three main national animals of Japan, China and South Korea. I have excluded mythical animals like dragons from this list since, to be honest, all three countries have quite a lot of them. Why should you care? Well, animals are awesome. Culture is awesome and next time you get a souvenir with some animal on why not get the national animal?


The People’s Republic of China

national animals - panda


Pandas 熊猫 are cute, cuddly and usually very peaceful. Until recently our black and white, bamboo eating friends were endangered but thanks to the Communist Party of China, no matter if you like them or now, they are not threatened anymore. Genetic technology, safe habitats and breeding programs have successfully reversed the trend. And I’m very happy about that, since who the hell doesn’t love pandas!



national animals - koi

Kois kois and more kois. Beautifully coloured fish that are kept in small artificial ponds and wells all over the country, be it in restaurants, offices, zen gardens…kois are very nice to look at, expensive to breed and often represent the Daoist concept of yin and yang. If you just want to relax, find a nice public park in Japan and sit down next to a koi pond and just let the time fly by.


South Korea

national animals - siberian tiger

Even though South Korea (much like Japan) has kinda two national animals, I choose the Siberian Tiger cause that animal is endangered (stable at the moment) and deserves our attention. Also, Tigers are strong, powerful and fierce. They represent the resilient spirit of the Korean people (who have been through much) very well.



Now you know what the national animals for these countries are. So next time you get a souvenir, why not get one depicting one of these animals? Or donate some money to the Siberian tiger project. And while you’re at it check out our selection of  Japanese, Chinese, or Korean t-shirts (more t-shirts sold, more blogs, more motifs in the future…)


Until next time, take care of your animals.

– David