As a seasonal symbol in Japan, the dragonfly is associated with summer and early autumn. More generally, dragonflies are symbols of courage, strength, and happiness, and they often appear in art and literature, especially haiku. The love for dragonflies is reflected by traditional (layman's) names for almost all of the 200 species of dragonflies found in and around Japan. Japanese children catch large dragonflies as a game, using a hair with a small pebble tied to each end, which they throw into the air. The dragonfly mistakes the pebbles for prey, gets tangled in the hair, and is dragged to the ground by the weight.:38
Beyond this, one of Japan's historical names – Akitsushima (Kanji: 秋津島 Hiragana: あきつしま) – is an archaic form meaning "Dragonfly Islands". This is attributed to a legend in which Japan's mythical founder, Emperor Jinmu, was bitten by a mosquito, which was then promptly eaten by a dragonfly.