[6] Ubiquitous as they are now at shrines, Komainu have been used outdoors only since the 14th century. This boulder and the dragon's body became covered with plants and surrounded by trees, and can still be seen today as the "Gana-mui Woods" near Naha Ohashi bridge. The lion, similarly to the horse, is the animal symbolizing strength, bravery and ferocity. [11] Often one, and sometimes both, has a sūtra roll, a key or a jewel in its mouth (sūtras are Buddhist texts, a fact which attests to the Buddhist origins of the Inari cult[11][12]). Hardly anyone would dare to face a lion, even Greek mythology emphasizes this fact in the story of Hercules and his first labor. She is depicted as a monster with the head and body of a lion, a goat’s head on her back, and the hindquarters of a dragon or serpent. Lion Meaning. Lion carries himself like a regal and mighty King. Africa: Lions live in Africa, so this is a good name choice. The first lion statue in India appears around the 3rd century BC on top of a column erected by King Ashoka. Konoha-tengu – A bird-like Tengu. There are about 30 thousand Inari shrines in Japan, and the entrance of each is guarded by a pair of fox statues. [7] In Asia, the lion was popularly believed to have the power to repel evil, and for this reason it was habitually used to guard gates and doors. Komainu strongly resemble Chinese guardian lions and in fact originate from Tang dynasty China. If you see this in a shop, they are often sold in sets of two – one male and one female. Shisa are wards, believed to protect from some evils. [1] The open mouth shisa traditionally wards off evil spirits, and the closed mouth shisa keeps good spirits in. Greek folklore also includes Fairy Tales of Modern Greece, which share lively stories of fairies interacting with mortals, and even a few stories for children from folklorist Andrew Lang. Cerberus Perhaps the most well known and famous of all dog-like mythological creatures is the three headed hound of the Underworld, Cerberus. H Originating from Greek culture, Cerberus is the offspring of the great monsters Typhon and Echidna. The other had its mouth closed, looked rather like a dog, was called komainu, or "Goguryeo dog", and sometimes had a single horn on its head. Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, Netsuke: masterpieces from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Shisa&oldid=974280758, Articles containing Japanese-language text, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 22 August 2020, at 03:18. There are several mythological creatures that are half humans and half birds. [11] White foxes are messengers of the kami, who is sometimes himself believed to be, and portrayed as, a fox. Shisa (シーサー, Shīsā, Okinawan: shiisaa) is a traditional Ryukyuan cultural artifact and decoration derived from Chinese guardian lions, often seen in similar pairs, resembling a cross between a lion and a dog, from Okinawan mythology. Starting from the Edo period (1603–1868) other animals have been used instead of lions or dogs, among others wild boars, tigers, dragons and foxes. The townspeople then built a large stone shisa to protect it from the dragon's spirit and other threats. 7. In mythology, the Chimera was perceived as a danger to Lycia (today’s Turkey). Varieties of shisa (excluding the dragon) at a shop. . In Japan, too it ended up being installed at the entrance of shrines and temples next to the lion-dog. Cerberus is a three headed dog with a serpent tail that guards the entrance to Hades. Numerous statuary of Chinese guardian lions exist, which are often called "Fu Dogs" "Foo Dogs", "Fu Lions", "Fo Lions", and "Lion Dogs". Modern lions are not native in the area of China, except perhaps the extreme west; however, their existence was well known, and associated symbolism and ideas about lions were familiar; however, in China, artistic representations of lions tended to be dog-like. In Greek mythology. Cerberus is the three-headed dog of Greek mythology that guards the entrance of the underworld allowing our spirits to enter but never leave. Hades was the god of the underworld. Kodjo: This is such a hip sounding name, and it comes from Africa like lions do. One had its mouth open and was called shishi (獅子, lion) because, as before, it resembled that animal. Komainu – The pair of lion-dogs that guard the entrances of temples. During the Nara period (710–794), as in the rest of Asia, the pair always consisted of two lions. There are a variety of accounts covering how Heracles captured Cerberus. One of the most prominent mythical monsters in Greek mythology, Cerberus, also known as Kerberos, is the giant hound with three heads guarding the gates of the underworld in Greek mythology. The Fu Dog is a creature with origins in Chinese mythology, legend and folklore. [8] Gradually the animals returned to be identical, but for their mouths, and ended up being called both komainu.[8]. Hera, angry with Zeus, sent the beast to Nemea, i.e., to the place where the temple devoted to the most important god was situated. Shisa (シーサー, Shīsā, Okinawan: shiisaa) is a traditional Ryukyuan cultural artifact and decoration derived from Chinese guardian lions, often seen in similar pairs, resembling a cross between a lion and a dog, from Okinawan mythology. During its transportation along the Silkroad, however, the symbol changed[citation needed], acquiring a distinctive look. Lion lover on December 17, 2017: The names Kion, Loki, and Zues are totally awesome! 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