Guardian dog (koma’inu)

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

Shinto sculpture

dog, guardian lion, Japan, Kamakura period (1185 - 1333), Shinto
Provenance research underway.

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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