It is not unusual to see Nio statues placed at the main gate of a Buddhist temple because Nio is a deity whose role is to protect Buddhism and Buddhists. So it is his job to stand at the entrance and watch to see that no strange things enter the temple grounds. In other words, he is like a school principal who stands at the school gate to make sure that the students are not late and that morals are not violated.
For this reason, the Nio statue has an indignant expression on his face and a weapon in his hand, so that he will not be taken advantage of. He must always be willing to fight whenever someone picks a fight with him. In these respects, he is more like a naughty one who holds supremacy in the school than a principal. In any case, it is precisely because of such a presence that ordinary worshippers can visit the temple in peace.
The fact that the scary faces with weapons in their hands are effective in preventing Buddhist enemies from entering the temples is also because of the guarantee that they will resort to violence if anything goes wrong. However, there are quite a few temples where I believe that this guarantee is not functioning. Such was the case with the Nio statue of Gumyo-ji Temple in Yokohama. Although his eyes were wide open and he had a look of indignation on his face, Nio was standing behind a wire fence. This is no different from watching a lion in a cage from a safe distance.
|Apr 2022 KANAGAWA STILL LIFE|
|POSE STATUE TEMPLE WIRE NETTING YOKOHAMA|
April 8, 2022
August 15, 2023
Still Life Photography
SONY ALPHA 7R II
ZEISS LOXIA 2/35