Shishi of Taketomi

We’ve just returned to Tokyo from Okinawa, which was full of pristine beaches, amazing coral, and thankfully, no catastrophic sunburns this time.

Out of our five days in Okinawa, just one was a bit rainy and windy. We spent it on Takitomi, a tiny island that can be biked all the way around in under an hour. The island is also home to a delightful array of shishi, the protective lion-dog creatures that can be found at Shinto shrines across Japan, but are especially common to Okinawa, where they whimsically decorate rooftops and gates. So we spent some time on this rainy-windy day hunting for shishi in Taketomi.

Some are a bit scary, some are just cute, and a couple of them kind of resemble the Cheshire Cat from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.


One thought on “Shishi of Taketomi

  1. I guess these are sort of like the gargoyles on church buildings and castles and the scary sort of doorknockers on old buildings. Interesting photos!

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