are Okinawan lion dogs, originating in the time of the time of the Ryukyu. I’ve
read various accounts of them – one was originally a gift from a Chinese emissary
to a Ryukyu king who used it to save a village from a sea dragon, they ward off
evil spirits, they guard and keep good spirits in, etc. Sometimes there are a
pair, one with the mouth open and the other with the mouth closed.They are on roofs and gates and just about
everywhere in Okinawa.Here are a few of
the many we saw.