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9-Koma-inu 狛犬 (Shrine Dog)

At the base of the great staircase, there are two shrine dogs. The one on the right has its mouth open and is uttering the sound ‘A’. The one on the left is uttering the sound “Un”, and thus has its mouth closed. “A” is the first sound in the Sanskrit Alphabet, and “Un” is the last sound. Thus, the two dogs signify the beginning and the end, expressing a deep religious meaning.

 

 

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