The three wise monkeys were popularized in Japan and is believed to be part of the chinese philosopher Confucius’ teachings on the human code of conduct. These three monkeys depict the three principles of see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil. Mizaru is depicted covering his eyes with his hands that symbolizes hear no evil and Iwazaru is depicted covering his mouth that symbolizes speak no evil. It is noteworthy that Mahatma Gandhi possessed a statue of these three monkeys.
source – did you know book