Saturday, August 14, 2010

Will Miss #217 - koma inu

In front of some homes, and most temples in Japan, you see a pair of statues or figures of stylized dogs called "koma inu". They are meant as guardians and are related to Chinese guardian lions ("fu lions"). One of them always has its mouth open and the other has its mouth closed. They are like this because one makes the sound "ah" and the other "hum" (or "um"). I'm always interested in the different presentations of these dogs and the art behind them. Some are clay, others stone, and some plastic. Some are very Chinese in appearance and others rather simplified and "cute".

I'll miss seeing these figures "guarding" people's homes.