May 15, 2012
May 15, 2012

Pair of Koma-inu: Guardian Lion-Dogs

Pair of Koma-inu: Guardian Lion-Dogs

1185–1333

Part of a set. See all set records

Wood with traces of polychromy

Overall: 49.6 cm (19 1/2 in.)

Dudley P. Allen Fund 1924.351

Location

Description

Placed at the entrance to shrines and temples in Japan, lion-like guardian figures warded off evil spirits. These lion-dogs are distinguishable by their faces: one looks fierce, mouth closed, while the other seems mid-roar, mouth agape. The idea of guardian-lions likely came to Japan from China via Korea, giving rise to the name koma-inu meaning "Korean dog."

See also
Collection: 
Japanese Art
Department: 
Japanese Art
Type of artwork: 
Sculpture
Credit line: 
Dudley P. Allen Fund

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