The three wise monkeys that

hear, see and speak no evil website




Welcome to this homepage that has been entirely dedicated to collecting three wise monkeys that hear, see and speak no evil.

What exactly are they trying to tell us, these comical monkeys that keep ears, eyes and mouth closed? Where do they come from and what is their original meaning? This homepage will try to answer these and many more related questions.

If you are interested in the details of origin and meaning of this fascinating symbol, you will have to familiarize yourself with the Koshin belief in Japan. This folk religion is believed to be the source of the Hear, See and Speak No Evil monkeys. We also have created a list with Frequent Questions and Answers.

The 3 monkeys are mostly known in the shape of figurines, statues, charms, drawings, paintings or cartoons, but numerous other No Evil items exist in a wide range of shapes, materials and forms. You will see examples on the pages of this website

Not only monkeys are making the “no evil” gesture, but also almost any other kind of animals, people, Buddha’s, dwarfs, fantasy figurines and many more.

Did you know that No Evil Monkeys are highly collectible items? And that collectors of the 3-Monkeys are organizing meetings in Europe and the USA? In this homepage you will find all information about past and future collectors’ conferences and you will be able to “meet” with a number of No Evil Collectors from all over the world. There also is a section with links to 3 -monkeys’ collections that have been published on the internet.

For little known reasons, collecting the 3 monkeys is extremely popular in the Netherlands and to a lesser extent in Belgium. That is one of the reasons why this homepage, in addition to English is also made in Dutch language. Originally also French and German translations were included, but have been discontinued because of lack of interest from those language groups.

Restaurants, bars, shops, internet businesses, clubs and other organisations are using the three monkeys as their trade name, although not all of them use the “hear, see and speak” symbol. You will find many examples on the Worldwide pages of this website.

Artists have often been inspired by the No Evil symbol and there is a special section where No Evil artworks from all over the world can be viewed.

Another section will show “perishable 3-monkeys”: items that once have been created from sand, snow or flowers, or that have been used in demonstrations and obviously do no longer exist.

There seems to be no limit to the creativity of people, because also automobiles and other vehicles have been decorated with 3 monkeys and, probably to the surprise of most of you, even people (with tattoos). Just see the corresponding pages.

The internet also has discovered the No Evil symbol and quite a number of animated 3 -Emil Schuttenhelm Switzerlandmonkeys’ pictures/drawings can be found in this homepage.

In any case, the basic meaning of the 3-monkeys’ symbol is to shield off evil to the benefit of all people. In some countries the symbol is explained as “mind your own business”, which is not the original meaning.

I hope that you will find the homepage informative and entertaining and I welcome any questions, comments and suggestions.

Best regards from Switzerland,       

 Emil Schuttenhelm


We cannot accept any responsibility for the content of this or for external websites accessed via a link in this homepage. All information in all pages of this website and all published links have been carefully reviewed and compiled. The provider of the website to which published links lead is solely responsible for any illegal, erroneous or incomplete content and for any losses or damages arising out of the use or non-use  of that information. No liability will be accepted by the party which merely refers to such a website via a link.

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