||Four horned owls sat perched on the roof of the
Kantei, keeping a watchful eye over all points of a compass. They had been
there since the Kantei was built, living witnesses to all that had gone
on below. Well, if only they could have been, they were actually just statues!
Horned owls appeared in Roman mythology as messengers of Minerva, the goddess
of wisdom and bravery, and according to some, represented the Kantei's
role as a symbol of wisdom. With their nocturnal habits, it was also said that
the owls watched over the Prime Minister in his sleep.
There were also four slightly different designed horned owls sitting on the roof
of the Kotei, or the residential area of the Kantei. So as time passed, the owls naturally
became symbols of the Kantei itself.