Showing posts with label shisa. Show all posts
Showing posts with label shisa. Show all posts

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Surreal & Psychedelic Shisa of Ishigaki Island


Just across the road from Yonehara Beach in central Ishigaki Island, Okinawa, is the Yoneko Yaki craft centre where you can see and buy, among other things,  examples of traditional Okinawan shisa.

However, outside you can see a wide variety of large, colorful statues that seem to be based on shisa.

Their shaes seem alien and surreal, and their color schemes are very vibrant and somewhat psychadelic. 

They are sray-painted so also have the feel of graffiti art.

We were there in the off-season and the lace was closed so were unable to find out about the origin and history of them.

However, they were whimsical without being kawaii, the Japanese cultural style that seems to be growing into a dominant format, that also seems to be very popular. I personally find kawaii somewhat offensive, but then I don't enjoy Marvel superhero movies , so what do I know.

Ishigaki Sea Salt

Monday, September 17, 2018

More Shisa of Taketomi Island

Shisa are the magical creatures found on rooves and gates all over Okinawa. Similar to Japanese komainu, though found most often on homes.

Very much "folk" artifacts, though also made by artisans, most are somewhat comical in appearance.

All these posted here are from Taketomi Island, the small island known mostly for its ox-carts.

Like komainu they are often found in male-female pairs, and in different postures.

Ishigaki Sea Salt

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Shisa of Taketomi


Taketomi Island is a small island of only 5 square kilometers with about 300 inhabitants in the Yaeyama Islands, now part of Okinawa Prefecture.


It's known mostly as a tourist destination for its traditional Ryukyuan village with stone walls, tile roofs, and water buffalo carts.


The shisa on Taketomi were funkier and more whimsical than those on the main island of Okinawa, reflecting a folksier culture.



Sunday, January 18, 2015

Shisa of Okinawa 3


Here are some more Shisa, the uniquely Okinawan version of guardian dogs. This first one is at the small museum inside the theme park Okinawa World.


This pair of very unusal ones were also in that museum. They look quite old and possibly are more closely related to the earliest imported from China.


This is a large, modern one outside a monorail station in Naha.


This little guy was peeking out up in the far north of the island.


And this one was on a traditional building in the grounds of the Prefectural Museum in Naha.

Ishigaki Sea Salt

Monday, September 29, 2014

Shisa of Okinawa 2


This is the second post on the shisa of Okinawa.


All of these photos wre taken at Okinawa World, a "theme park" in the south of the main island.


The making of small shisa for roofs has become a folk art


The main reason for visiting Okinawa World is for the cavern.....


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Shisa of Okinawa


If there is one icon for Okinawa, it must be the Shisa. They can be seen everywhere, usually in pairs, on roofs, flanking gateways etc.


Like their relatives in mainland Japan, the komainu, shisa are a variation on Chinese guardian lions, often the pairing having one open mouthed, one closed, one female, one male.


Of course, what fascinates me, is the great diversity of styles that have developed, especially in the area of "folk" art.


So this is the first of many posts on the subject :)