From Chinese Shi comes Okinawa’s Shisa, a cross between a lion and a dog.
Each countries such as China, Japan and Korea have different versions of it. Rarely you might stumble upon it in other parts of the world.
There are noticeable things in Okinawa – the beautiful beaches, the 360-degree low clouds, vending machines, and of course, shisa.
Older ones were traditionally placed in imperial places and wealthy people’s homes. In modern Okinawa, shisas are everywhere! You can see it on rooftops.
Being that they serve as wards, they are usually positioned in front of houses and business establishments.
The one to the left is normally has its mouth close; they attract and keep the good spirits in.
The one on the right is usually has its mouth open; they shoo away bad spirits.
There are also in plaques in different shapes of usually square, rectangle or circle.
Shisa, in general, have eyes that are magnetizing as if challenging whoever looks at it.
In old Okinawa, shisa are mostly fierce-looking.
There are plenty of shisa variations.
Some are accessorized.
In modern Okinawa, versions of shisas are made friendlier and more appealing.
They can be highly decorated.
Some are candid.
They are now in colorful designs.
Some depicting Okinawa’s culture.
… and in different sizes.
Being that shisa attribute largely to Okinawa culture, they are now sold as souvenirs.
Shisa, shisa, shisa everywhere!
And as proven by the overload of shisa pictures on this post, I just can’t get enough of it.
Learn more about shisa from another currently Okinawa-based blogger, Eflida, and her blog, Because i am uniquely and wonderfully made.