A very important motif in Chinese art, being the symbol of longevity in both Chinese and Japanese systems, and the most frequently portrayed plant form on Chinese porcelain. The bamboo, prunus, and pine together are the emblems of Buddha, Confucius and Lao Tzu, the Three Friends (Savage. 1964). In some parts of Japan, there is a superstition that bamboo will bring death within three years of its planting (Bownas), which is odd, because Japanese mythology has it as generally a lucky symbol, representing tenacity and courage (J Piggott), and, as mentioned, long life, as is the pine. They usually combine the two to decorate gateposts at New Year (Seki).

How to Stay Young

How to Stay Young

For centuries, ever since the legendary Ponce de Leon went searching for the elusive Fountain of Youth, people have been looking for ways to slow down the aging process. Medical science has made great strides in keeping people alive longer by preventing and curing disease, and helping people to live healthier lives. Average life expectancy keeps increasing, and most of us can look forward to the chance to live much longer lives than our ancestors.

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