When in pairs, the left shisa traditionally has a closed mouth, the right one an open mouth. The open mouth wards off evil spirits, and the closed mouth keeps good spirits in.
So Ben made a shisa, with some instruction from the amazing Yamada sensei, the first time he came to Okinawa. It had an open mouth thus it kept bad spirits away. However I did not have a shisa to keep good spirits in. This is entirely consistent with the wreck of Dileas. There was such joy but it slipped away because there was no shisa to retain it.
Ha ha, now I begin a new era of happiness and joy. I have the second shisa!
Ben spend a couple of days with Yamada sensei during his visit in August and made the second shisa. It is beautifully done. It dried in Yamada’s workshop and once ready he glazed it and fired it in the mighty nobori-gama.
I went to pick it up today. Miwako is going to have her second baby tomorrow! I think she should wait for Xmas day.
No more happiness and joy can escape from Tigh na Mara. Time to buy another boat!
A Shinto priest of the mighty Shirahige Shrine, where real cows and horses graze around and inside the shrine grounds, told me that the Komainu, which are mainland Shisa found at the entrance of shrines, are in pairs with one mouth open and the other shut because they are saying “A” and “N” to signify beginning and end. He noted that these are the first and last sounds of the Japanese phonetic system, but this reportedly comes from Sanskrit, where “A” is the first and “Um” is the last sound, which is also where the chanted “Aum” comes from. So in short, yes, all your problems are solved now.
Magnificent, and the new quiet one has serious claws.