Guardian dogs standing at the second torii on Wakamiya-Oji Street were firmly masked

Masked guardian dogs standing on Wakamiya-Oji Street
Masked guardian dogs
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While the sight of masked statues of Carnell Sanders and Komainu (guardian dogs) made me smile in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, such a feeling has long since disappeared after such a long period. When I see huge guardian dogs standing on Wakamiya-Oji Street in Kamakura wearing a mask, I don't feel anything in particular; I just think, "Here, too." I only wonder who will replace the masks when they get dirty, or if they will come off and fly away if the wind is strong. Oh, I'm such a boring person.

The Komainu (guardian dogs) by the side of the approach to the shrine is placed there to protect the shrine and ward off evil spirits. In other words, like the Kongorikishi statue standing at the temple gate, they are expected to prevent evil from entering the sacred space. Despite such a heavy responsibility, the dog is not as impressive as the Kongorikishi. He has an enraged face and holds in his hand a vajra, a weapon of Indian origin. The guardian dogs, on the other hand, have only a frightened look on their faces, which makes them look unreliable.

It is widely believed that such guardian dogs were originally lions, not dogs. They originated in Persia and India and arrived in Japan via the Korean Peninsula, where they were transformed into dogs. In any case, Japanese people at that time had never seen a lion. After struggling with how to describe the lion, they settled on a dog with a slightly scary face, which is how it has come to be today.

日本語
Mar 2022 KANAGAWA STILL LIFE
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PHOTO DATA

No

12212

Shooting Date

Dec 2021

Posted On

March 22, 2022

Modified On

March 23, 2022

Place

Kamakura, Kanagawa

Genre

Still Life Photography

Camera

SONY ALPHA 7R II

Lens

ZEISS BATIS 1.8/85

Where is Wakamiya-Oji Street?

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