Vintage Mid-Century Pair Japanese Komainu Lion Dogs Ceramic Turquoise Green Glaze


Additional information


DATE: Circa

Mid-20th Century






This is an incredibly handsome pair of made in Japan Komainu or Lion Dogs from the 1950-1960s. No, they are not Foo Dogs from China. However, the Komainu and Foo Dogs are very similar. The primary difference between the Foo Dog and the Komainu is in the area of the feet. Usually the Komainu have both paws on the ground and the male Foo Dog has a paw resting on a ball or the world, and the female Foo Dog has her paw resting on a puppy or cub. Komainu, direct translation is Korean Dog, are Japan’s mythical lion dogs. In Okinawa they are Shisa. And they are somewhat like the Haechi in Korea, but the Haechi usually has a scaly body and a small horn on its head and sometimes small wings. The Komainu is definitely a lion and seems to have come to Japan via India along with the Buddhist faith. Very early the Komainu were made of wood and only used indoors. But I mean very early because around the 9th century they began appearing outside guarding temples. Most Lion Dogs come in pairs. One male and one female. The male with his mouth open and symbolic of the letter “a”. The female with her mouth closed and symbolic of the final letter of the Japanese alphabet forming the sound “un”. Together they form the word “a-un”, the Japanese version of the Indian “om”. Or the beginning and the end or the Alpha and the Omega. This is an extremely beautiful pair from the mid-20th century. They retain their oval blue and white paper Japan sticker. In my search online I did not find a pair as gorgeous as these with such a brilliant glaze. They are in perfect condition and ready to adorn and guard your home. Make them yours.

the 411
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the details

Awesome pair of vintage mid-century Japanese Komainu or Lion Dogs in ceramic with a gorgeous glaze that is primarily turquoise green but mixed with many other wonderful colors of greens and blues and blacks and browns. They are in fabulous vintage condition with no chips, cracks, or chiggers. There is some intentional crackling to the glaze. Circa mid-20th century.


  • Size Male – 10.25H x 3.75W x 5.75D Inches
  • Size Female – 10.5H x 3.75W x 6D Inches
  • Weight – 4.2 Pounds Pair


Boxed Size:

  • Height – 15 Inches
  • Width – 14 Inches
  • Depth – 10 Inches
  • Weight – 8 Pounds


We ask that the buyer cover freight.

100 MILES OR LESS OF 66607
White Glove, Blanket-wrapped Est. Delivery: 5 biz days


Pickup at 414 SE 2nd St.
Call us at 232.8008 to schedule