Shishi

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                                     Time flies! A new year has come without notice.. This is my first blog in 2007! Thank you for visiting here and reading!

      I am going to write about Shishi today. I love Shishi! I don’t know why though…
I think they are cute.

      Shishi is a happy symbol and also a charm. If you visit a shrine, you’ll find a Shishi at the entrance. There’re a pair of stone ornaments in most shrines, and the right one is Shishi. The left one is similar to the right one but not Shishi, it’s called Koma-inu. Koma means Korea and inu means a dog. That is it means a Korean dog. I don’t know what is the present kind for the Korean dog.

     Shishi doesn’t look like at all but it seems to come from a lion. On New Year’s day, a dance called Shishi-mai is performed all over Japan. But you can see the lion dance in not only Japan but also all over Asia. Shishi is not a culture peculiar to Japan. I don’t know how it’s called in other countries though. It is said that Japanese Shishi-mai comes originally from Chinese lion dance.                            

      Okinawa is one of prefectures in Japan, but it is famous as a district which has customs peruliar to it. They ususally put a charm called Shisa (It is said that Shisa is a dialect of Shishi.) on the roof or the wall. It seems that all of those Shishi, Shisa and other Asian countries’ similar symbols originates from the lion in ancient Orient. It is said that the Sphinx in Egypt is also embraced. That’s interesting!  In Western countries, gargoyles seem to has something to do with them.

     
                                               You can get the time-honored charms for only 100 yen
recently! I had thought to buy one at a 100 yen shop,
but I didn’t and made  one with paper clay instead! It looks
like one of my Nepali
friends…How has he been?  

     Anyway I wish this year wonderful for all of you!
Look at my special Shishi which resembles the Nepali friend! It may bring good luck to you!

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