Guardian dog (koma’inu)

Historical period(s)
Kamakura period, 1185-1333
Medium
Cypress wood
Dimensions
H x W x D: 53.3 x 27 x 42 cm (21 x 10 5/8 x 16 9/16 in)
Geography
Japan
Credit Line
Purchase — funds provided by the James Smithson Society
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1983.6a-c
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Sculpture
Type

Shinto sculpture

Keywords
dog, guardian lion, Japan, Kamakura period (1185 - 1333), Shinto, WWII-era provenance
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Label

Guardian dogs carved of wood customarily are placed in the outer corrider of Shinto shrines to protect the sacred precincts. Like human guardians, one of the pair opens his mouth to cry out a warning.

Published References
  • Smithsonian Year 1983. Washington. p. 193.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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