Shisha (シーサー)

From the Naha Airport, the gateway to Okinawa, you can see the mysterious sculptures that look like colorful tigers on the entrances to houses, buildings, and roofs throughout Okinawa. These sculptures are Shisha, the representative creature of Okinawa, and ‘Hatch’ in Seoul. It is not known exactly how Shisha came about. Most Okinawan scholars, however, mostly agree on the ancient roots of lions. (Some scholars insist on dogs or other animals.) Legend says that the necklace was a gift from a Chinese envoy, Shisha. The Shisha ornaments appeared on Naha’s beaches and defeated the dragons that plagued those around them. First of all, the existence of Shisha was known as the villagers were suffering from frequent fires in the village of Tomimori in 1689. If the statue of lion was made and installed toward Yaese with the advice of Feng Shui, the fire would not occur. It is due to the myth that the fire did not actually occur. Even today, Shisha is actually the oldest Shisha in Okinawa, which is the great stone Shisha of Tommy Mori.

In the past, it was installed only at the entrances of temples, castles, and utaki-na villages. Shisha interprets that opening her mouth is the act of letting out bad energy and closing her mouth so that she doesn’t get out of good spirits. Some are divided into females and males with open mouths and males on the right, and females with mouths closed and on the left.

When you go to Okinawa, you will see Shisha, which has a variety of shapes in various shapes. Shisha’s appearance on the door or roof of a family house gives a kind of Okinawan feel, which makes it very mysterious and sometimes beautiful. Of course you can own Shisha. Shisha is available in a variety of sizes, from Okinawan souvenir shops that you can get tired of, and small ones that can be used as key chains in pottery villages and workshops in Naha City and central Japan.

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