But it appears the three wise monkeys have been cancelled after academics at the University of York decided they are an oppressive racial stereotype. They're a cultural trope that have been used to symbolise the proverbial 'see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil'. The origin of the Three Wise Monkeys The phrase 'see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil' probably came to Japan from Buddhist legend in India and China in the 8th century. The three wise monkeys are thought to have been used in Japan because of the similarity in Japanese of the negative suffix 'zaru' to 'saru', meaning monkey. But a spokeswoman for the University of York said academics were concerned the image could be insulting to ethnic minorities.
Source: The Nation January 22, 2021 06:45 UTC