Talk:Chinese guardian lions

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There's a sentence that says Fu is Chinese for 'happiness', but the entry for Fu doesn't indicate that. Can someone verify? Donutz 04:18, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)

does in fact mean "happiness" or "good fortune". --Dpr 07:20, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

The reference to African lions seems wrong. Lions are also found in Asia (e.g., India).

Can someone stick up a redirection page under the title "Fu Lion". I would, but my Wiki-Fu is not best. 13:16, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

Done. howcheng {chat} 17:39, 9 October 2006 (UTC)


A Chinese told me that the female lion is in fact nurturing her cub by her left paw. Could someone verify. 16:53, 19 July 2005 (UTC)


Does Harry Dresden's dog Mouse not count because it's actually a dog? He's a Foo Dog, and is specifically supposed to be magical and from Tibet.

Gender Reversed? Inhaling Japanese Koma Dog?[edit]

It seems that the gender of the Japanese Koma dogs is probably reversed (although) I am not sure? Please since the article says that hte male dog is inhaling life and the femal dog is exhaling death...but, one dog has its mouth closed. So I am not sure how it can be inhaling or exhaling. I am confused.

Stone ball in the mouth[edit]

My parents once told me that the stone ball found in the lions' mouth was for good luck. Essentially, people would roll it around and after enough time, it would erode and fall out. If it fell out when you rolled it, that was extremely good luck. It's a good factoid to put in this article, but I can't seem to find a citation anywhere. howcheng {chat} 03:49, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

If it rolls out while you are rolling it, you're most likely to get fined for damaging public property. Not good luck! 8-) --Sumple (Talk) 02:38, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Right and Left[edit]

The male is actually on the left and the female is on the right from the dwelling and from the lion's point of view. The article is written from an external perspective of someone viewing the structure being protected by the lions. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:45, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Chinese name[edit]

Neo jay commented that the Chinese wikipedia article is "石狮子". Not to disparage the quality of the Chinese article too much, its subject does not correlate well with the subject of this article. This article is about guardian lions (the form or motif), not about its particular manifestation in stone sculpture form. By contrast, the Chinese wikipedia article has the following definitional sentence "石狮子就是雕刻成狮子形状的石头" -- "Shi shizi [stone lions] means stone sculpted into a lion shape". The two articles do nto correspond well. Unless the subject of this article is similarly restricted to stone sculptures only, there is no reason why the Chinese name should be "stone lion". In Chinese, you would call the sclupture by its material - 石狮,铁狮,铜狮 (stone lion, iron lion, bronze lion) as appropriate. --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 05:47, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Please see the article Lione of Fo in Encyclopædia Britannica. It clearly says that Lion of Fo is also called "Lion of Buddha , Dog of Fo , or Shishi (Chinese: “stone lion”) in Chinese art,...". I have added the reference to the article. And I doubt why this article is titled as "imperial...lion". The lions can also be placed in temples or at the home of the wealthy. If the imperial lion can also refer to the lions at non-imperial places, why can't stone lion also refer to the non-stone lions? Please note that Encyclopædia Britannica at least mentions Shishi and stone lion as its names, but does not mention imperial guardian lion at all. --Neo-Jay (talk) 07:10, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
"Stone lion" and "guardian lion" are clearly different concepts: one is a subset of another. If you want to focus only on stone lions, that's fine - cut out all the stuff about bronze lions and remove the pics with bronze lions, and dump that in a separate article called "Chinese lion totem" or something. As the article stands, it cannot bear the name.
Why can't "stone lions" refer to non-stone lions? Um. Because they are not stone lions.
Why can "imperial" lions refer to lions in non-imperial lions? I really have no opinion on that one and feel free to chop off the "imperial" - but imperial here can refer to the connotation of the imagery rather than the actual placement of the actual statue. Can a "Chinese flag" displayed outside China still be called a "Chinese flag"? I don't see why not. And the same goes for the Imperial eagle, doublt-headed eagle, dragon or lion. --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 00:35, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
We are not discussing about the title of this article, but only about whether stone lion should be mentioned in its lead section as one of its other names. I have provided highly reliable source Encyclopædia Britannica. I think that it's enough to justify mentioning stone lion in the lead section. Thank you for your understanding. --Neo-Jay (talk) 07:49, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
After reconsidering your opinion, I changed Shishi back to a main page Shishi (stone lion) and removed the content that I merged from Shishi. I changed the lead section to that the imperial guardian lion is sometimes called stone lion. Hope this is OK for you. Thanks. --Neo-Jay (talk) 10:29, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
Thanks - I agree with the distinction you have made. --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 02:11, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

"Guardian lions" redirect.[edit]

I don't see why "Guardian lions" redirect here, when there are many western style lion statue pairs to the entrances of buildings and other places, possibly originating from western heraldry, and there should very well be an article on examples of such. (talk) 09:04, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

Traveling Buddhist monks saw stone Asiatic lions guarding temples and palaces in India not stone Dogs[edit]

Buddhist monks saw stone Asiatic lions guarding temples and palaces in India not stone Dogs as someone has inserted incorrectly in this article. Hearing stories from monks about Indian lions the ancient Chinese sculptors used local Chinese dogs to sculpt Chinese version of the lion as no one in China had ever seen a real lion then.......... even though Asiatic / Indian lions were common in India then across the Himalayas (mountain range).

Kindly find correct references and list them here, Thanks

Atulsnischal (talk) 10:32, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

Moved Article Title[edit]

Moved Article Title from "Imperial guardian lion" to "Imperial guardian lions of China"

Imperial guardian lions of China is appropriate because:

  • 1) These particular ones are Specific to China and their appearance is very specefic to China, and other types exist in India and elsewhere
  • 2)It is always a pair of lions now and the Imperial guarding lions are a definite pair not a single lion, a male and a female, hence the title can not be Singular, hence the title with "lions" not "Lion".

Atulsnischal (talk) 10:48, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

Moved Article Title again from "Imperial guardian lions of China" to "Chinese imperial guardian lions" over redirect: as replicas are found and used all over the world where Chinese people have immigrated and settled specially in local Chinatowns etc. Plenty are found in Toronto, Canada for example.

Atulsnischal (talk) 07:23, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

Had to Move Article Title again from "Chinese imperial guardian lions" to "Chinese guardian lions" over redirect: because they are widely used at the entrances of major Buddhist Temples (origin), buildings, businesses, supermarkets, Chinatowns all over the world including Royal palaces in China.

Atulsnischal (talk) 08:02, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

Its Foo Lions or Fu Lions and Buddha's Lions NOT Foo Dogs NOR Fu Dogs and NOT Buddha's Dogs[edit]


Maybe I should make myself clear again I have noticed that Chinese guardian lions article page is getting vandalized regularly over the last many months by people spreading false information about them and insisting on calling "Lions" by the name of "DOG" they replace the word "Lion" in the article to "DOG", Chinese guardian lions are statues of "LIONS" (Not DOGS and Nor LION DOGS but Just LIONS) called Foo or Fu lions, meaning lions of Buddha. When Buddhist monks brought stories to ancient China from India that statues of stone lions were commonly seen outside Buddhist temple and monastery entrances in India (As real wild Asiatic lions were common in India then, which at that time no one had ever seen in ancient China of those days) and in front of palaces of kings in India, the people of China where Buddhism was spread by traveling monks from India wanted to make statues of those lions for similar purposes in China but no body and nor any sculptor in whole of China had ever seen a real lion before as they did not occur at all in China, Chinese sculptures modeled their own Chinese lion statues after the stories that came from India with traveling monks using Chinese Dogs as a model. But the resulting statues crafted by sculptures in ancient China took the shape of a Lion which was quite different from a real lion, sort of a lion-dog hybrid as Chinese sculptures used local dogs as models, never the less these statues became an Icon and came to be called as Chinese guardian lions still considered guardian spirits etc. in modern China of today, these statues are representations of Lions and very different from dogs. These statues are called Lions and are not called Dogs; but various wikipedia editors are repeatedly changing the text from "Foo or Fu LIONS" to "Foo or Fu DOGS" and "LIONS of Buddha" to "DOGS of Buddha", from "Stone LIONS" to "Stone DOGS" in the article on Chinese guardian lions. Because of this misinformation contained in this often vandalized article, several websites around the world-wide-web are calling these lions by the name of Foo or Fu Dogs it seems or stone dogs etc..

Making and shipping of these stone lions is a big industry in China as Chinese houses, buildings, restaurants etc. around the world like to install these stone lions in front of their entrances. It seems these "stone lions" are being called and misrepresented as "stone dogs" by marketers in the west to make them more appealing in the western countries due to their consumerist economy and to increase their sales of stone lions crafted in China are being marketed in the west as stone Dogs.

As for "real LION DOGS" or "Foo or Fu Dogs", they are just closely related actual living Dog Breeds from ancient China on whom the ancient Chinese Sculptures of that time had based the Lion statues on, as no one in China had ever seen a real lion before in those times. Hence as the ICON of "Chinese guardian lions" were created by sculptures in ancient China, these ancient Chinese Dog breeds in return came to resemble them closely hence these live dog breeds are known as "real LION DOGS" or "Foo or Fu Dogs" as they resembel Chinese guardian lions as sculptures based the lion statues on dog models.

Chinese guardian lions are Foo or Fu LIONS not DOGS as being persistently vandalized on the Chinese guardian lions article page. This article should be locked and editors should be asked to research more and cite sources. It looks like that Commercial website owners selling these stone lions in the west are fraudulently calling them "stone Dogs" instead of "stone LIONS" to make them more appealing to increase their sales in the west, these business owners should not be allowed to vandalize this article to mean DOG Statues and spread misinformation to make their products (stone lion statues) more appealing to the customers in western cultures. (talk) 04:59, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

Above comment by: " (talk)" was left by me earlier when i was not signed in, on present visit I notice that all the above buddhist and India connection to imperial lions has been censored and edited out of the article, this connection has to be reinserted and editors need to research this and provide authoritative sources for the same: In India Statues of stone Lions were commonly used outside royal palace entrances, temple entrances and entrances to buddhist monasteries from ancient times; when buddhist monks travelled to and from india back to China they tried to introduce the culture of stone lion statues guarding entrances in China but as local sculptors in China had never seen a Lion before hence they used local dogs as references to make stone lions of China in those days. Cultural depictions of Lions in China are directly related to buddhist monks who brought it from India, in India the the traditional name for Lion in Sanskrit language is 'Sinh or Singh".

mrigthrishna (talk) 07:29, 2 July 2011 (UTC)

Intro of the separate article on Foo Dogs[edit]

'Foo Dog or Fu Dog (Lion Dog) refers to any of the following closely related Dog breeds originating in ancient China which came to resemble the Chinese guardian lions which were modeled after them and hence these dog breeds came to be called Lion Dogs. Fu or Foo refers to Lions of Buddha guarding the Dharma and Buddhist Monasteries. It is believed that the Chow Chow breed of Chinese dogs is one of the native dogs used as the original model for the creation of Chinese guardian lions in ancient China when no one had ever seen a real Asiatic lion before which were however quite common in neighboring India. At the time stories reached China that Buddhist temples and monasteries in India were being guarded by the traditional stone lions found in front of Buddhist temples and palaces in India. Hearing the stories carried there by Buddhist monks traveling from India the Chinese sculptors modeled statues of Fu or Foo lions, the lions of Buddha after these native dogs as they had never seen a real lion before and created an icon of an animal never before seen in China, the Chinese guardian lions which in turn came to resemble dogs. Thus Chow Chow and any of the other following closely related Dog breeds originating in ancient China came to resemble the Chinese guardian lions modeled after them and were henceforth called Lion Dogs:

mrigthrishna (talk) 09:52, 8 December 2010 (UTC)


Moved following POV comment from the article and listed here for record and further research etc.:-

"Not all lions used as symbols in China were guardian lions. Straight-haired standing lions carved on panels can be seen at the Siling Tomb of the Ming emperor Chongzhen, and the males and the females have prominent moustaches! Similar straight-haired lions can be seen on the bases of steles at Kong Miao, and at Dong Yue Miao. There are also straight-haired lions on the panels of the main gate of the tomb of the eunuch Tian Yi, as well as on steles devoted to him. None of these lions have curly hair, have a dog-collar or bauble, or hold a ball or a cub under their paw. These straight-haired lions are real lions as perceived by the Chinese, and are symbols of courage and power. They are not connected to Buddha in any way. "

Moved above POV comment from the article and listed here for record and further research etc. (talk) 09:35, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

Dogs as lions[edit]

I think we need better sources for the claim that Chinese guardian lions are depictions of dogs. There are clear resemblances between classical depictions of the lion in India (e.g. Emblem of India) with Chinese depictions of the lion. It seems quite plausible to me that classical Indian depictions of the lion were copied inaccurately in earlier times in China, and these images gradually evolved to become the more familiar shapes seen in China today. In any case, reliable sources are needed. -- (talk) 05:46, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

How many people have my IP address?[edit]

Seriously, I keep getting the most random messages saying I've been vandalising! If I want to edit things, I log the hell in! I have an account! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:28, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

Considering that your ISP appears to be Cox Communications, one of the largest in the US, I would say that quite a few people share your IP. howcheng {chat} 23:21, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

Noticed on Web[edit]

mrigthrishna (talk) 00:07, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

Foo Dog[edit]

I've re-inserted two references to the term "Foo Dogs," since that's what these are commonly known as in the West (Not "Foo Lions" as someone seems to have changed it to). Acknowledged, it's obviously incorrect, but it should be noted that this incorrect name is still common -- in particular, note the sentence claiming that "Foo Lion" is the common term in most Western languages (I assume this originally said "Dog,") -- the Wikipedia entry on this in most of the other languages refers to these as "Dogs" (Perros de Fu, Lejonhund, Cans de Fu, etc.), and the "Foo Dog" disambiguation page says this as well. (talk) 13:20, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

removed the word "高麗犬"[edit]

I removed the "citation needed" and the word "高麗犬" from the paragraph "In Japan", Etymology. "狛" and "高麗" are absolutely the same words which has the same meanings and the same pronunciations. You can see the fact on Japanese Wiktionary if you know Japanese.[1] But today "高麗" is obsolete way of writing. I couldn't find a dictionary which has the convination of kanji "高麗犬", that is, they all have adopted only "狛犬" today. Though it's easy to speculate formerly "Komainu" was also written as "高麗犬".

Akiyama(tentative) (talk) 09:06, 13 July 2014 (UTC)

Earlier versions[edit]

Can anyone elaborate on incarnations of the lions in earlier (pre-Yuan) dynasties? When I visited the Miaoying Temple, the lions were small more svelte, almost leopard-like. The male, with ball also seems to be on a right looking out from the building. I have a fairly decent picture. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Alcestethehippo (talkcontribs) 23:33, 12 September 2014 (UTC)