This is a stunning set of two "shishi okimono" bronze sculptures made in Japan during the Showa era in the early 20th Century. The figures were made by the famous sculptor Shuzan Hideyama and are signed by the artist.  


The word "okimono" is Japanese for a free standing object. Okimonos became popular in the 17th Century to adorn the houses of distinguished citizens. Many okimonos are small, but in the 19th Century they were increasingly made for export to the West and eventually became larger, often made in bronze rather than the traditional wood or ivory. 


A "shishi" is a mythical beast that probably came to Japan in the 7th or 8th Century from China via Korea. The Japanese shishi combines elements from different cultures: the Korean “Koma-inu” (Korean dog), and the Chinese “Kara-shishi” or "foo dog" (guardian lion).


You can see that combination of dog and lion in these beautiful figures. They are strong, phenomenal and fiery; in fact they seem to have fire coming out of the mouths as well as their behinds. The bronze is beautifully sculpted, suggesting the curly fur of the dog and the manes of the lion. Each figure has a unique expression: one seems ready for the attack, the other seems to sit back and carefully observe you - perhaps to jump on you later.


These figures would be perfect for an entrance way or on display in a large living space; their great energy would give iconic ambiance to the space.


The shishi are marked by the artist on the underside.


CONDITION REPORT Both shishi are in perfect antique condition.


DIMENSIONS each shishi is 38cm (15") high, 32cm (12.5") wide and 21cm (8.25") deep.


SHIPPING As these are very heavy items, please ask for a shipping quote. The shishi are offered without the red pedestals shown in the pictures. Shipping will be charged separately after purchase.

Set of 2 bronze Shishi Okimonos, signed by Shuzan Hideyama, Showa early 20th C

  • Your item will be shipped after receipt of funds, unless agreed otherwise in writing. 


    We will ship your items within a maximum of 2 working days after payment (usually quicker). We cannot be held responsible for delivery times once the item has been shipped as this is at the shipper's discretion and, in case of international delivery, can be subject to customs delays, weather, holidays and/or political instability.


    If your delivery failed to appear or was damaged in transit, please let us know as soon as possible and, in case of damage, provide us with pictures of the damaged item and/or packaging. Cut off dates for this are 14 days after shipping, or 2 days after a damaged delivery. We will need to comply with shippers' regulations in order to follow up the issue, but it is vital that you let us know what is wrong as soon as possible. We will do anything we can to follow up faulty deliveries but cannot be held responsible if we have not been notified within the required time period. 


    We always aim to have happy customers so if you have an issue with or questions about your item, please contact us and we will do anything we can to resolve the issue with you! 

  • Cancellations can only be accepted before the item has been shipped. Once an item has been shipped, the transaction cannot be cancelled anymore.

    Returns need to be requested within 2 days of receipt of the item and completed within 14 days from the date they have been agreed in writing.

    If you want to return an item because you changed your mind, you will be responsible for the return shipping. For international deliveries, this will need to be a fully tracked shipping mode. The item is expected to be received back in the same state it was sent - any damage due to insufficient packaging will be your responsibility. We will only pay for return shipping if we have mutually agreed that the item did not satisfy your expectations. A refund will be made immediately after receipt of the item.

    You are subject to the EU Consumers Rights Act, which protects your rights buying over the internet.


    We always aim to have happy customers so if you have an issue with or questions about your item, please contact us and we will do anything we can to resolve the issue with you! 

Covid-19 - we are open for business! 

We can ship normally to most destinations, but some are currently closed.

For the time being we have had to raise shipping prices as shippers are now charging more.

As we are living under lock down and can't always reach our stock, lead times will be a little longer than usual.

For now, please bear with us as we do our best to get your parcels to you as quickly as we can! 

If needed we are happy to hold your parcel for you until the end of the pandemic.

Please feel free to contact us to discuss and thank you for your business - it is a vital support for our business! 🙏

© 2020 by Gentle Rattle of China - copyright on all images and text

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