Komainu: The Fierce Guardians of Japan's Sacred Shrines and Temples

  • Published on : 16/03/2024
  • by : Japan Experience

Visitors to Japan's numerous Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples are often greeted by a pair of imposing lion-like statues flanking the entrance. These majestic creatures, known as komainu, serve as the fierce guardians of Japan's sacred spaces. With their intimidating expressions and muscular physiques, komainu are believed to ward off evil spirits and protect the holy grounds. These fascinating statue pairs have a rich history and symbolic meaning that reflects cultural influences from China, Korea, and India, making them an integral part of Japan's religious architecture and cultural heritage.

Latest Articles

Red spider lily: How to grow and care for this enchanting fall-blooming bulb

The red spider lily (Lycoris radiata) is a striking fall-blooming bulb known for its vivid red flowers that seem to appear magically on bare stalks.

Japan Visitor - manyoshu20195.jpg

The Manyoshu: Japan's oldest and most renowned poetry anthology

The Manyoshu, meaning "Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves", is the oldest existing anthology of Japanese poetry.

Japan Visitor - mask20192.jpg

Unmasking the Mystique and Allure of Traditional Japanese Masks

Masks have been an integral part of Japanese culture for centuries, dating back to at least the 6th century.

See All (368)