Is the mouth open or closed?

Tuesday 19th, January 2016 / 10:35 Written by
Is the mouth open or closed?

When you visit a shrine, a pair of animals carved of stone is sitting on either side of the entrance. They are called KomainuKoma-inu, the guardian dogs. They come from ancient mythical lions. My husband bought a miniature set made from traditional Japanese tile, and I can see that one of them has an open mouth and the other closed.
A (pronounced Ah) is the first sound in Sanskrit, the ancient Indian language which is used in Buddhism. Un (fast “oon”) is the last. They symbolize the beginning and the end of universe, of everything. When I was small I was told that “A” is the first sound you make when you are born and “Un” is the last when you die as you close your mouth, hence it means life.
あ うんLook at their mouth when you visit a shrine. You may even be able to check which one is male and the other female, if you are not too embarrassed to look closely between their legs.

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