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The MSG logo features a magpie perched on the lower part of the letter C:

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The magpie (in Manchu, saksaha – hence the name of the journal) is a sacred totem of the Manchu people.  The story behind the Manchus’ special reverence for the magpie is explained in the Manchu Veritable Records (Manju-i yargiyan kooli) as follows:

“Because the descendants born [to Bukūri Yongšon] afterwards caused the people to suffer, all the people in the country revolted, and they besieged and attacked the town of Odori in the sixth month.  The clan of Bukūri Yongšon was about to be annihilated and killed.  Fanca, who was a descendent of Bukūri Yongšon, got out and fled to the barren wilderness. When the enemy army was pursuing him, a divine magpie flew to him.  The magpie landed on Fanca’s head; seeing this, the enemy soldiers thought to themselves, ‘Do magpies perch on people’s heads?! Perhaps it is a withered tree.’  Thereupon, the descendants of the Manchu people took the magpie as their ancestor, and they do not kill magpies.”

Fanca Manju i yargiyan kooli 1 5

A magpie saves Fanca from Ming soldiers.

The illustration in the Veritable Records, reproduced here, shows this scene.






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