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Guardian Lions (Fu Dogs)

Chinese Guardian Lion or Fu Dog - LeftChinese Guardian Lion or Fu Dog - Right

Guardian Lions are an ancient symbol of China where they are known as shishi or stone lions. For over 2000 years they have proudly stood in front of and protected Imperial palaces, tombs, temples and the homes of wealthy people.

They are still extremely common in China but now can be seen anywhere from restaurants to offices and supermarkets. They are always displayed in pairs, typically with one either side of an entrance. The features and positioning of the lions has mythical significance protecting the contents and people within.

Similar examples are found in Korea and Japan where they are known as Komainu or Korean Dogs. The Western names Fu Dogs, Foo Dogs or Lucky Dogs are widely used but inaccurate.

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