bracelet rush lions guardians "Tang Shi" silver 950, turquoise Arizona agate called "nan hong" (southern red) Yunnan
open bracelet therefore adjustable to any size.
Dimension: 20cm long, 33mm wide 5mm thick
Weight of 159 grams
The "guardian lions" (石獅/ "Stone Lions"), sometimes called "Fu dogs" (福獅) in the West, are a common representation of the lion in pre-modern China, symbols of protection in the "Feng Shui" (風水) philosophy, reputed to attract happiness and fortune. It is also a protective animal of the "Dharma" (法/ "Buddhist law") and sacred buildings, symbolizing peace and prosperity. Presented in pairs, they sit at the entrance of imperial palaces and tombs, temples, houses of officials (rich dignitaries, nobles or "mandarins" [官]) of the "Han Dynasty" (漢朝), serving, for the latter, to testify to the social status of the residents. Nowadays, guardian lion pairs are also used ornamentally, at the entrance of restaurants, hotels, supermarkets and other buildings.
As early as 208 BC, the Buddhist version of Leo was adopted in China as the protector of the "dharma" and was declined in religious art. Gradually, they were incorporated into Chinese architecture to embody the notions of power and authority by being placed at the entrance of imperial buildings and then those of temples. There are different styles of guardian lions that reflect the influences of different historical, dynastic, and regional periods. These styles vary in their artistic details and the care given to the ornaments as well as in the expressions, sometimes fierce, sometimes playful. Although the appearance and morphology of guardian lions were quite varied throughout Chinese history, their appearance and posture eventually standardized during the "Ming (明朝) and "Qing" (清朝) dynasties in the form they are known today.
In Japan, these same lions are better known as "ShiShi" (獅子/"lions"), "Kara shisi" (唐狮子/literally "Tang Lions" or "Lions of China") or "Koma Inu" (狛犬/"dogs of Korea") introduced to Japan by the kingdom of "Koryo" (高麗/ancient Japanese term for the Kingdom of Korea). On the "Okinawa Archipelago" (沖縄諸島), there is also a regional variant called "Shisa" (シーサー) used in the same way as the Gargoyles in the West, aimed at repelling harmful influences.
In the same way as in China, koma Inu is found at the entrance of many "Shinto shrines" (神社/ "Jinja"), Buddhist temples, residences of nobles or even in private homes. They are divided into two categories: the first, which appeared during the "Edo period" (江戸時代), is called "SanDo Koma Inu" (参道狛犬), and the second, much older, called "JinNai Koma Inu" (陣内狛犬). Designed to ward off evil spirits, these statues resemble those of Chinese lions, with a few details, but retain the symbolism and characteristics of the latter. Indeed, the male has the mouth open, while the female keeps it closed. This tendency, however not being of Buddhist origin, has a symbolism attached to the first and last sound of the Sanskrit alphabet. The open-mouthed statue symbolizes the "Ah" sound (阿形/"A-Gyo"/first syllable in Sanskrit), while the closed-mouthed statue symbolizes the sound "Hum" (吽形/"Un-Gyo"/last syllable in Sanskrit), both representing the "beginning and end of all things". Jointly called "A-one" (阿吽), they form the sound "Öm" (唵/ॐ), a sacred syllable in several religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. There are, however, exceptions to the rule in which both Koma Inu have their mouths open or closed. However, other styles feature two lions with a pearl in their respective mouths, just large enough to be contained without ever being able to be removed.
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