Chinese guardian lions dogs at entrance - washi tape art

Lion dogs - 18" x 24" (each), Washi tape on paper (in a set)

Originated by Chinese guardian lions (known as foo dogs), Komainu often called lion-dogs in English, are statue pairs of lion-like creatures guarding Japanese temples and shrine at the entrances. Meant to ward off evil spirits, one of komainu statues has the mouth open, the other closed. The open mouth is pronouncing the first letter of the Sanskrit alphabet, which is pronounced "a", while the closed one is uttering the last letter, which is pronounced "um", to represent the beginning and the end of all things.

Komainu warding off evil spirits on the left
gold lion dog with Sanskrit alphabet
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