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伏見稲荷大社 / fushimiinari

Imperial guardian lions(Japanese, 狛犬) of "Naritasan shinshoji Temple(Japanese, 成田山新勝寺)" in Chiba, Prefecture, Japan.

Rui Shi or Imperial guardian lion, traditionally known in Chinese simply as Shi are a common representation of the lion in pre-modern China. Statues of guardian lions have traditionally stood in front of Chinese Imperial palaces, Imperial tombs, government offices, temples, and the homes of government officials and the wealthy, from the Han Dynasty, and were believed to have powerful mythic protective benefits.

Chinese guardian lion, known as Shishi or Imperial guardian lion, and often called Foo Dogs in the West

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狛犬 / Imperial guardian lion

Chinese guardian lions Chinese guardian lions, known as Shishi ( pinyin: shíshi; literally "stone lion") or Imperial guardian lion, and often called "Foo Dogs" in the West, are a common representation of the lion in pre-modern China. They have traditionally stood in front of Chinese Imperial palaces, Imperial tombs. Photo by: Greg Sagayadoro

Statues of guardian lions have traditionally stood in front of Chinese Imperial palaces, Imperial tombs, government offices, temples, and the homes of government officials and the wealthy, from the Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220), and were believed to have powerful mythic protective benefits

Imperial guardian lions(Japanese, 狛犬) of Ueno Toshogu shrine(Japanese, 上野 東照宮) in Ueno-park(Japanese, 上野公園) Taito-ku, Tokyo, Japan in September 2013.

Antique Chinese Imperial Guardian Temple Lions Foo Dog Statue