There are many shrines and temples across the globe where something different, like komainu, sits. Kuramadera Temple in Kyoto has tiger komainu, and Wake Shrine in Okayama has boar komainu. Considering that komainu are generally believed to be placed to protect sanctuaries, they certainly do not need to be dogs. They can be anything as long as they look strong and can ward off evil.
However, not all guardian dogs look strong, which complicates things. Okazaki Shrine in Kyoto has rabbit komainu and Mizumiya Shrine in Saitama has frog komainu, which makes us wonder if they are properly guarding the sanctuary. They are so cute that they don't seem to be able to drive away any bad guys that come near them, which makes us wonder if they are doing their job.
If I consider the guardian dogs at Jokyo-ji Temple in Takanawa, Tokyo, to be primarily responsible for guarding the sanctuary, unlike the rabbit and frog komainu, are acceptable. They protect the sanctuary in a deformed form. The only trouble is that I don't know what kind of creature this is. Most guardian dogs, whether frogs or lions, are modeled after real animals, but I have no idea what this guardian dog is modeled after. The face looks like a human, but the body is not clear. In a word, it is a creature that can only be classified as a Goblin.
|Apr 2022 STILL LIFE TOKYO|
|FACE GUARDIAN DOG SCULPTURE TAKANAWA|
April 20, 2022
Still Life Photography
SONY ALPHA 7R II
ZEISS LOXIA 2/35