Monday, August 13, 2018

(1649) Heavenly protection, again


They're called sachi or sachihoko (鯱) and as the character indicates they are mythical creatures half fish (魚) and half tigers (虎). They have become symbols of many castle towns in Japan (most famous is the golden one of Nagoya) because they are put on the roofs of the castles as ridge-end tiles/gargoyles but also as protectors; being water creatures, they're supposed to bring rain and therefore they can protect the castle from fire. Here on a monument on the road returning from Himeji castle -as you can see in the previous posts and the Himeji Flickr album, this castle also has them on its roof. 

(For a bigger version of this picture both in color and black and white, check my "Japan Arekore" set on Flickr)

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