May 15, 2012
May 15, 2012
May 15, 2012
May 15, 2012

Koma-inu: Guardian Lion-Dog

Koma-inu: Guardian Lion-Dog


Part of a set. See all set records

Wood with traces of polychromy

Overall: 49.6 cm (19 1/2 in.)

Dudley P. Allen Fund 1924.351.2



Placed at the entrance to shrines and temples in Japan, lion-like guardian figures warded off evil spirits. These lion-dogs are distinguishable by their faces: one looks fierce, mouth closed, while the other seems mid-roar, mouth agape. The idea of guardian-lions likely came to Japan from China via Korea, giving rise to the name koma-inu meaning "Korean dog."

See also
Japanese Art
Japanese Art
Type of artwork: 
Credit line: 
Dudley P. Allen Fund

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.