The left facing swastika on the gable of one of the Bulguksa Temple buildings. It is often forgotten nowadays that the swastika, in various forms, is an ancient religious symbol the use of which was fairly widespread until its adoption by the Nazi’s 87 years ago. Apart from its use in Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism the swastika was also used by native Americans, predominantly the Navajo, for whom it was a symbol for swirling winds. The following is a brief history from Internet sources:
“The swastika (from Sanskrit svástika ) is an equilateral cross with its arms bent at right angles, in either right-facing (卐) or left-facing (卍) forms. The term is derived from Sanskrit svasti, meaning well-being.
Archaeological evidence of swastika-shaped ornaments dates from the Neolithic period. An ancient symbol, it occurs in numerous indigenous Asian, European, African and Native American cultures; sometimes as a geometrical motif and sometimes as a religious symbol. It has long been widely used in major world religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism.
In 1920, the swastika was appropriated as a Nazi symbol and gained further association with the Third Reich over time. While the symbol was once commonly used without stigma, it has become controversial in some areas of the Western world because of this association.”
The symbol as it is used in Buddhist art and scripture is known in Japanese as a manji (literally, "the character for eternality" 萬字), and represents Dharma, universal harmony, and the balance of opposites. When facing left, it is the omote (front) manji, representing love and mercy. Facing right, it represents strength and intelligence, and is called the ura (rear) manji. Balanced manji are often found at the beginning and end of Buddhist scriptures (outside India).
On maps in the Taipei subway system a swastika is employed to indicate a temple, next to a cross indicating a Christian church.
Further info at