Nature & Culture of Japan

To make your trip to Japan more interesting

Insects Temples & Buddhism Religion

Amida Buddha and Ladybugs

In Japan, there is a ladybug species with the name of Amida Buddha. The scientific name is Amida tricolor, and the three colors of red, black and yellow are beautiful. It is often seen in laurel forests, so this may be one of the most common species around shrines and temples. It has a habit of eating Flatid Planthoppers (Hemiptera) that feed on oak trees.

The scientific name Amida was named by G. Lewis, an Englishman who came to Japan in the 19th century when modern entomology in Japan had not yet begun. He collected beetles all over Japan and brought them back to Europe. I don’t know the reason for him to name it Amida, but this person may have some particular attention to names concerned with Japan, such as naming other ladybugs with Emperor (= “mikado” in Japanese).

However, this Amida ladybug is not in every temple. Buddhist temples have denominations, and the temples of Shingon sect and Tendai sect often have natural forests. It is the Jodo sect and the Jodo Shin sect that chant the sutra “Namu (to devote) Amida Buddha”. But I don’t think that there are usually natural forests in these temples.


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