Feature Exhibition
Shinto Deities and Guardian Lions and Lion-Dogs

January 2, 2020 to March 22, 2020

How did the early Japanese represent the kami, their indigenous Shinto gods? When shown in human forms, these deities were often represented as refined aristocrats, but they are also shown as armor-wearing figures with fierce expressions or in other ways. Typically, the Shinto shrines dedicated to such kami are guarded by a pair of lion and lion-dog. The lion, on the right, has its mouth open, while the horned lion-dog on the left has its mouth closed. These guardian animals were depicted in various ways that changed over time. This exhibition features rare early statues of Shinto deities and protective beasts, giving visitors a unique opportunity to view sacred representations that differ from Buddhist images.




Kyoto National Museum

Kyoto National Museum

General Information

527 Chaya-cho,
Kyoto, 605-0931
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