the last cicada
1. Nothing in the cry
of cicadas suggests they
are about to die.
~ Matsuo Basho
2. In Japan, the cicada carries further philosophical connotations of re-birth. Since the cicada emerges from the ground to sing every summer, it is a symbol of reincarnation.
Of special importance is the fact that the cicada moults, leaving behind an empty shell. But furthermore, since the cicada only lives for the short period of time long enough to attract a mate with its song and complete the process of fertilization, they are seen as a symbol of evanescence.
3. In China, the phrase ‘to shed off the golden cicada skin'(金蝉脱壳) is the poetic name of the tactic of using deception to escape danger, specifically of using decoys (leaving the old shell) to fool enemies.