The Lion Guardian

This fine specimen was perched atop a canal barge, presumably protecting the people who live aboard.

What did this image teach me?

This form of statue is known as a Komainu (or maybe a Shishi – it’s quite hard to tell the difference), sometimes known as a lion-dog. They’ve been used as guardians to various locations for the last 600 years, and they’re s said to ward off evil.