The Protector (守護神)

Designer: Rei | Carver: Noriko Kawasaki | Printer: Kenichi Kubota

Paper size: 15cm by 11cm | Enlargement | Shipping Code: [HC] ? ( Change currency: $ / £ / )

Price: $ 40.00£ 32.00€ 37.25

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Description: This interesting little print was not created completely from the designer's imagination; what you are seeing is a real scene - the view from the rooftop of the Mokuhankan building in Asakusa looking east. The object in the distance I am sure many of you will recognize - it's the Tokyo Skytree that was built in 2010~11. But I suspect that not many of you will so easily know what the object in the foreground is!

We have up on our roof, a shachihoko. This is not something you normally see on a private building; they are usually found (in a male/female pair) high up on the roof of a castle! Just why the people who constructed our building in the immediate post-war period decided to include this we have no idea. We have made extensive searches, and other than a couple on temple roofs, can find no record of any other example in the entire Tokyo area.

The job of a shachihoko - which has the head of a dragon and the body of a carp - is to protect his structure from fire, and I can state without reservation that our specimen has done his job very well through all the years he has been watching over this building!

We are extremely grateful for his hard work over the years, and we hope to enjoy his protection for many more to come!

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