Antique Japanese Shishi Lion-Dog Statues
Item description - YO07010117
This beautiful pair of Komainu statues was hand-made during the early to mid Edo period (1603-1868). The two statues were once used to ward off evil entities at a Shinto shrine in ancient Japan. This specific variant is known as Sandō Komainu (参道狛犬), which is Japanese for the Komainu of the visitors path. This means that the statues are guardians at the entrance of the holy grounds.
Komainu statues (狛犬) are based on the Chinese Shishi Lion statues (石獅) that date back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907). Just like with the art of the Japanese gardens, China formed a big inspiration for Japan at first, after which Japan transformed aspects such as the Shishi statues into something uniquely Japanese. Although the Komainu statues have a Chinese-Buddhist background, they are in Japan perhaps more associated with Shinto shrines. But they can also frequently be spotted at Japanese tempels and nobel residences.
Every statue of a Komainu pair has a distinct shape. One has its mouth open and is traditionally on the right side, the A-gyō (阿形) or A shape. The other one has its mouth closed and is traditionally on the left side, the Un-gyō (吽形) or Un shape. When the two statues come together it forms the A-un sound, a well-known chant also famous as Aum or Om that is used by various religions such as Buddhism or Hinduism.
• Origin: Nagoya, Aichi prefecture
• Material: Granite
• Age: Early to Mid Edo period
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|YO07010117||55 cm||80 cm||25 cm||Eur 7500.00|