Snake Sign Meaning | Japanese Treasure Sign


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Snake is actually a reptilian creature that preys on other animals and the majority of them are poisonous. Their fangs acts like a syringe which delivers their deadly venom right into the blood stream of their victim or prey. Anyway, I'm pretty sure that you are already familiar about the danger of being bitten by a poisonous snake.

In relation to Japanese treasure signs, snake is commonly used as a warning for poison traps. This could be in the form of a chemical/liquid mixed on the soil or in the form of gas. Aside from the warning, a snake sign also tells direction. In most cases, you have to follow the direction where the snake's head is pointing. If it is pointing into a certain spot then that must be the digging spot. But if it is pointing to a wide area, you need to explore it until you run into another sign.

Different Japanese Treasure Snake Signs



The Japanese or Yamashita treasure signs does not only consists of one kind of snake sign. There are actually several of them and each offers more specific meanings.

1. Snake Head

I already encountered engraved snake heads as signs several times. There was no body but just the upper part which was the head. Some of them even have their long extending tongues while others simply do not have tongues. Either way, they are both interpreted exactly the same.


But common to all snake heads as danger signs is that, they indicate "poisonous gas traps". The gas can be encountered in the form of small bottles or more commonly known as "Cyanide Capsules". Or, concealed inside the chamber where the items are stored. On some rare cases, items contained in tightly sealed containers also contains poisonous gas. When unsuspectingly punctured or opened, the gas will leak out.

2. Snake in Striking Position

One of the best snake signs that accurately tells something about the direction of the hidden item is the one with "striking position". It's upper body must be standing and the head seems like ready to strike its target.


When you encounter a snake sign on this kind of position, you just found an ultimate clue to the location of the buried item. As stated above, the snake's head is "directly pointing towards the hidden spot of the deposit".

3. Coiled Snake

A coiled snake sign is another interesting Japanese treasure sign that tells about the exact location of the buried item. Take note, the body of the snake must be coiled several times.


If it happens that you encountered a coiled snake sign, it means that the treasure is "buried underneath it".

4. Snake Looking Upward

A snake sign with its head looking in an upward direction means that the hidden object is "hidden up on the tree".


5. Crawling Snake

The most common markings among all snake signs is the one that is crawling towards horizontal direction. This sign simply meand that the snake is "facing towards the location of the hidden item". But if the eyes of the snake sign is clearly carved in detail, it means that the snake is "directly staring into the hidden spot of object".