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Kara Shishi Dogs


A PAIR OF KARA SHISHI DOGS A charming pair of turquoise glazed Kara Shishi dogs, each standing with bushy tail raised, and highly expressive faces. The pottery, incised with swirling cloud patterns and incised detailing accentuating their whimsical form. China or Japan, circa 1860 Height 18.5cm Length 18cm Depth 9cm This mythical beast was probably introduced to Japan from China via Korean in the 7th or 8th century AD, during the same period as Buddhism’s transmission to Japan, for the Japanese shishi combines elements of both the Korean “Koma-inu” (Korean dog) and Chinese “Kara-shishi” (Chinese lion). One prominent theory holds that the shishi derives from the Chinese Foo Dog. Lions, by the way, are not indigineous to Japan, China or Korea, and supposedly entered those nations in the form of imported art and sculpture, with the earliest traces of the animal appearing in China’s Han Dynasty (about 208 BC to 221 AD).


A Pair of Kara Shishi Dogs  

A charming pair of turquoise glazed Kara Shishi dogs, each standing with bushy tail raised, and highly expressive faces. The pottery, incise...

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