A pair of Chinese or Japanese shishi or komainu temple lions, foo dogs, lion dogs, dark rosewood, late 19th C.
A pair of Chinese or Japanese shishi or komainu temple lions, foo dogs, lion dogs, dark rosewood, late 19th C.

Chinese or Japanese shishi temple lions

H 11 cm L 15 cm

 250,00

Prijs incl. 6% BTW & Verzendingskosten

Meer informatie

China is a country full of lions. Pairs of stone lions (shishi) can often be seen as gatekeepers for many buildings in China. In Japan they are called komainu. (were brought to Japan via Korea, which in turn received them from China, which in turn received them from India). Artists did not have many models to base their work on and instead used dogs. Usually, a male lion on the left with the right paw is on a ball – the symbol of unity of the Chinese Empire – and a female lion on the right with a cub under the left paw – a symbol of offspring. Another explanation is that the male (represents yang) guards the structure and the female (represents yin) protects those who live in the building. Lions have always been a symbol of power through many cultures and this is made even more dignified by how a lion is known as the king of the jungle. Dogs, on the other hand, have always been seen as a protective creature. The open-mouthed komainu represents the sound “a”, while the closed-mouthed koma inu represents the “un” sound. Together they would thus form the sound “aum” which also occurs in monastic songs during the reading of the sutras, and which would enable them to protect the place. Shown are a pair of shishi or komainu temple lions or lion dogs, foo-dogs, made in China or Japan. They consist of a male and a female animal figure. The male has a closed mouth, the female has an open mouth. Both have moons. Both have the front leg placed on a ball that represents the unity of the Chinese Empire. Seen from below, the male animal has a distinct penis with testicles. The detail is very nicely worked out, especially the mouth and head. They are made of hard dark rosewood with beautiful patina. Given the wood structure, they were placed inside a shrine. They are not marked. Dating is difficult but I think they were made in the late 1800’s.

Condition: perfect.

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