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September 29, 2005

black shisa
red creature

Okinawan buildings traditionally have sculptures of shisa — fierce lion-dog creatures — on their roof or gateposts in order to scare away evil spirits. When they’re found either side of a gate or door, one always has its mouth open while the other’s is always shut. Traditional shisa are sculpted in an old-fashioned Chinese-looking style, but on Ishigaki there’s a pottery that’s become quite famous for its crazy, bright-coloured 21st century shisa and shisa-inspired creatures. They’re very photogenic, but oddly, they seem to look a lot better in photos than real life. Or rather, they look the same, but in real life it’s easier to notice that they’re a bit too gaudy and crazy to sit comfortably against a background of less crazy objects… I think they’re still quite groovy though.

posted in Okinawa1 comment

1 comment:

  1. Posted by mayee — October 18, 2005 at 1:52 pm

    the red smiley shisa is sweet!