Origin of "no evil" monkeys

Everyone’s seen the three monkeys covering their respective eyes, ears, and mouth: see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. But where did they first come from? Were they from some classical fable or some 20th century kitsch?

Three? My monkey statue has four. :eek:

I always heard that it was chinese.

They’re closely associated with a certain temple in Japan, but may have been originally Chinese. See http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/8/messages/383.html

We had an interesting thread on this a few months ago:

Slight nitpick. The famous carving of the three monkeys is found at the Toshogu, the mausoleum of Tokugawa Ieyasu, in Nikko, Japan.

There are 5.

Isn’t that what his cite said?

Let’s see, there’s “See No Evil,” “Speak No Evil,” “Hear No Evil,” and “Have No Fun,” what’s the fifth monkey?



I thought there were 12 Monkeys.

I always like Bob Dole’s remark when seeing ex-presidents Carter, Ford and Nixon in a celebration - “Look: See No Evil, Hear No Evil… and Evil”.

Koko is an APE, goddamnit, not a monkey.

Sorry, it’s just like when someone says “irregardless” :smiley:


He’s the little guy wearing the fez, & banging on the cymbals.
You gotta love the Fez, man!

I am pretty sure a barrel holds more than 12.

Hmmm. . .

  1. See-No-Evil
  2. Hear-No-Evil
  3. Speak-No-Evil
  4. King Kong
  5. Donkey Kong
  6. Mighty Joe Young
  7. Cheeta
  8. J. Fred Muggs
  9. Phoebe B. Beebee
  10. Mr. Teeny
  11. Bubbles
  12. ?

Who am I missing

Lancelot Link, Secret Agent

Bonzo! :smack:

The Evil Monkey in Chris Griffin’s closet?