Guardian dog (lion-dog)

Guardian dog (lion-dog) © Iry

What is a lion-dog

The lion-dog is an image of a guardian dedicated to the area surrounding a shrine. Although the two are often both called stone guard dogs, the one with an open mouth is a lion. The other is a lion-dog with a closed mouth, and it often has corners. The lion-dog is thought to have entered Japan at the same time as Buddhism, and at that time both were lions. After that, the set of lion and lion-dog was created in Japan, and they were placed at many shrines.



The lion-dog has corners, so that it can be distinguished from a lion.

Sightseeing spot with a strange lion-dog

Uji】 Mimurotoji

The guardian dog of Muro Muroto Temple is not a lion or a dog, but rather either a rabbit, a snake or a cow. It is said that rabbits took a guidance when a royal family called Yukicho visited a certain area of Mie Murotoji Temple as a lionog dog.

Tono】 Kappa deep

There is a legend that the youkai named Kappa lives in the Kappa district of Tono, and Komaki Kappa is placed not at the Konpakuji temple just behind Kappa. There is a legend that Kappa put out the fire when a fire broke out at the temple.

Chichibu】 Mikumi Shrine

In Mikumi Shrine of Chichibu, wolves are treated as gods of God, and guardian dogs mimic wolves. The wolf is the object of the faith spreading in various places because it is a legend that the wolf made a way when the ancient Japanese royal family, Yamato Takeru got lost, and the natural enemies of deer and wild boar that ruin agricultural crops It is reported that it is something.

Tateshina / Suwa】 Suwa Taisha Shimoji Akiya

Suwa Taisha Shimosha The lion dog in Akamiya is characterized by its size. The bronze stone guardian dog boasts the highest height in Japan with a total length of 70 meters.

【Arita · Imari】 Potteryama Shrine

A pottery shrine located in Arita-cho in Saga Prefecture, also known as a shrine dedicated to Lee Pingping, the father of Arita-yaki. The stone guardian of this shrine is Arita seems to be the birthplace of Arita yaki, made by Arita yaki. Besides this, the shrine which I like to visit once, such as the Torii which was made by Arita ware, is a shrine.

Naha】 Nozomi Waves

The guardian dog of Nojimamiya in Naha, instead of a lion and a dog, Shisa is placed. Shisa is a legendary beast often placed on the roofs and gates of buildings in Okinawa Prefecture, as amulets and defenders of fire fighting, and lucky things.