Photographer's Note

One of two large shachihoko (mythical creatures with a dragon head and a fish body) on the tower roof ridge of Osaka Castle

It is said that it's their natural behavior that as soon as they find fire they spout water.
So, on the top of the roofs of castles or temples, they were settled as charm of protection from fire

Gold shachihoko are a symbol of Nagoya.
You can see a pair of shachihoko on the top of the roof of Nagoya castle.
They were put there mainly for the purpose to show the power of the lord of the castle, and also for a kind of decoration
They also took a role of war funds in an emergency

Nobunaga was the first lord who put shachihoko on the donjon roof (Azuchi castle).
Osaka castle, Fushimi castle and Edo castle also had shachihoko on the roof, but they were burned out by fire.
In the middle of the Edo period, Nagoya castle became the only castle which has golden shachihoko on the top of the donjon roof.

The real golden shachihoko were melted out by the fire during the World War II and rebuilt in 1959.

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Additional Photos by Ralf Lai (kim_gwan) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 99 W: 0 N: 368] (1142)
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