Photographer's Note

If we take a walk in metropolitan area, we will be surprised that there are many shrines of large or small size, here and there. It seems to the fact which people make the shrine the ground of faith in their deep psyche from ancient times. This photograph is taken in the precincts of the Hakusan shrine of Bunkyo-ku. This shrine was founded in response to the request from the Kaga's Shirayamahime shrine in 948. It has deified "Kukuriheno-kami" which is one of the Japanese God. If we visit in a shrine, the guardian dogs made from a stone placed on both the sides of an approach by one pair will be seen. Guardian dogs are general for a shrine, so that it occurs first along with torii, when telling the thing of the shrine precincts. Guardian dogs are the beasts of Japan similar to a lion or a dog, and it is considered as an imaginary living thing. It is placed in many cases in the form which faces a shrine, both the sides of the entrance of a shrine, the front right and left of a main shrine and Hondo, etc. by one pair as an image, or the form which turns the back to the temples and shrines which should be protected, and carries out a correct position to a worshipper. Although it is a lion and was same in a figure on either side at the beginning which got across to Japan at the Asuka period, the image of a lion and guardian dogs with appearance which becomes the Heian period(794 - 1185) is different, and respectively came to be placed by a pair. In ancient India, to have put the image of the lion on both the sides of the Buddha as a protection beast is made into the origin of guardian dogs. Moreover, it also lets the image of the lion which protects the sanctuary in ancient Egypt or the Mesopotamia be the origin. And, In ancient Orient countries, there is fashion which uses a lion as God or a guardian deity of the throne, and it is supposed that the good example is a Sphinx. In Japan, it is supposed that the lion of the time of Tang Dynasty(618 - 690,705 - 907) of China was transmitted through the Korean Peninsula with Buddhism. Besides, there are a wild animal, a dragon, a fox, wolf, etc. as a protection beast of the Shinto and Buddhist deities which play the same role as a lion and guardian dogs, and these animals are called the messenger of God.

A part of lack of White Balance of roof portion is rectified using rounded rectangle and lasso tool of PhotoFiltre.

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Additional Photos by mikio kato (kato) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1386 W: 219 N: 3395] (11630)
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