Komainu is an emissary from the world of Susanoo


A Komainu(狛犬), a stone-carved guardinan dog placed at the gate of a Shinto shrine, is an emissary protecting gods. There seem to be several theories on a Komainu, ranging from a theory of an imaginary beast Shi-shi(獅子) to one of lions.


  • stone-carved 石で彫られた
  • place 置く
  • gate 門
  • emissary 使者
  • protect 守る
  • there seem to be A Aがあるように思われる
  • theory 説
  • range from A to B AからBの範囲に渡る
  • imaginary 想像上の
  • beast 獣

Reading a Komainu spiritually, an aspect of the world of a certain god comes to my mind. I see an old man with a long beard walking with two dogs, which look like an Akita dog(秋田犬), a kind of Japanese dog, but a little bit more thickset and has a large, round face.

  • aspect 様相
  • a certain ある
  • beard 髭
  • thickset ずんぐりした
  • round 丸い

One of the most impressive characteristics of the dog is its big, round front paws. I feel like touching the big, fat paw. The color of its hair is pure white. The two dogs seem to be a couple. The old man walking the two dogs is Susanoo(スサノオ). A Komainu belongs to the World of Susanoo. It has an ability to expel evil spirits and keep them away. Since they are petted by Susanoo, the boss of fierce gods, the statue of a Komainu has also miraculous efficacy.

  • impressive 印象的な
  • characteristic 特徴
  • front paw 前足
  • feel like ~ing 〜したい気がする
  • pure white 真っ白
  • couple 番い
  • ability 能力
  • expel 追い払う
  • evil 邪悪な
  • keep A away Aを近づけない
  • since S+V SはVするので
  • pet かわいがる
  • boss 大元締め
  • fierce gods 鬼神
  • miraculous efficacy 霊験

There are 9 stages in the World of Susanoo. Susanoo exists in each of the stages. Susanoo existing in the highest stage, the ninth stage, is a spiritual body that has never been to the World of Reality as a physical body. But seen from the World of Reality, it looks like an old man with a long beard. It seems that as the dimension of the stages gets down, he turns younger and more violent. In the lower dimensions, he has horns on the head.

  • stage 段階
  • exist 存在する
  • each それぞれ
  • physical 物理的な
  • dimension 次元
  • get down 下がる
  • violent 荒々しい
  • horn 角

A deity enshrined in Shinto shrine is often called “so and so Ohkami (大神).” In fact, this word “Ohkami” is also an argot of a wolf(狼、ohkami). Long time ago there was a time when wolves in a mountain were thought to run errands for gods. In mountainous region in Japan, wolves living in groups were the strongest animal, not ones living alone such as bears. Wolves were respected as emissaries of gods. A Komainu is equivalent to an “ohkami”, a wolf.

  • enshrine 祭る
  • so and so 何々
  • in fact 実は
  • argot 隠語
  • wolf 狼
  • long time ago ずっと昔
  • run errands お使いをする
  • mountainous 山の多い
  • region 地域
  • in a group  集団で
  • strong 強い
  • alone 単独で
  • equivalent 同等の

Today, too

I Ka Shi Te I Ta Da I Te  A Ri Ga To U Go Za I Ma Su


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