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Vintage Japanese Kutani Cermic ShiShi Temple Lion Foo Dog Statue 13”

Vintage Japanese Kutani Cermic ShiShi Temple Lion Foo Dog Statue 13”

Regular price $435.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $435.00 USD
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This is an antique Japanese ceramic Kutani ware piece. It is the ShiShi (Foo Dog) from the  Taisho Era (c.1912-1926). 

It measures approximately 13" tall by 12" long and 9" deep. It weighs 6lbs 12oz.

The Shishi, or lion-dog, is a mythical creature prominent in Japanese folklore and traditional art, revered as a powerful protector against evil spirits. Derived from similar figures in Chinese mythology, where they are known as "Shi" or guardian lions, these mythical beasts were introduced to Japan through Korea along with Buddhism in the 6th to 8th centuries. In Japan, Shishi are typically depicted as a pair and often serve as guardians outside the entrances of temples and shrines, embodying a blend of lion-like features with some canine details, reflecting their role as defenders.

Shishi are known for their fierce and bold demeanor, often carved in stone or cast in metal, and sometimes portrayed in vibrant dance performances known as Shishi-mai. The dance is performed during various festivals using a wooden Shishi mask and a body costume to mimic the creature’s movements, believed to ward off misfortune and purify the area from evil spirits.

These guardian figures hold significant cultural and artistic value in Japan, symbolizing strength, courage, and protection. Their presence is ubiquitous at sacred sites, where they stand as steadfast protectors that keep watch over the premises, ensuring peace and safety for all who visit.

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