Japanese Turtle Fountain
Stephen S. is my friend in high school, and he is from Wisconsin. He was born and raised there, but moved to Taiwan for high school. He’s now back in Wisconsin for college.
He told me of a tradition and a legend that he has experienced yearly when he was still in high school. He would always go to Japan every year for s skiing trip, and every time they would stay in the same place; at a hotel near the skiing resort. In the hotel there was a well with turtles sprouting water like a water fountain. Every time before they ski, Stephen and his family would rub or pet the turtles’ shell then throw a coin in the well to wish that their skiing trip would be safe. Stephen told me that because of doing this, no one in their family has ever been into a skiing accident.
Stephen remembers this tradition because of how it is tradition that was done out of his own country. He said that he and his family has their “own little thing” that they do outside of Taiwan, and he thought that was really special. He also said that he may not necessity believed that rubbing the turtles and tossing the coin in was the sole reason that all of their trips were safe, but it’s fun knowing that something like may happen and be real. His father was the first one who taught him about the turtle fountain, and Stephen told that his father found out about doing this because he saw another family doing the same thing in the same exact wishing well.
The turtle fountain was the focus of the legend in that the family believed it could be used as a wishing well. Even though the wishing well may not be real, the existence of it was enough to make the family believe that something like this can happen.
I believe that this is a folk-tradition since they do this every year, but the tradition has also been done someone from outside the family. It could be a family tradition or the tradition of the hotel and people in the hotel knows the secret of the Turtle Fountain. This would also be considered a folk-legend because many people believe that fact the Turtle Fountain can grant wishes, but many others would believe it to be a regular fountain. It could be real or not, there’s not really a way to be absolutely sure.