Extremely detailed pair of bronze statues of guardians to the Buddha called Niō or Kongōrikishi. While Buddhism usually promotes pacifism, the Nio guardians are said to have justified the use of physical confrontation to fight back against evil. Nio are typically placed on either side of a temple door. One statue, named Misshaku Kongo or Agyo, has an open mouth to represent the first sound in the Sanskrit language “a”, symbolizing birth and overt violence. The other statue is called Nareen Kongo or Ungyo and has a closed mouth to represent the last sound in Sanskrit “hum”, symbolizing death and latent strength. Date Shoawa (c. 1950).
Size: 26″ tall, 13″ wide