Monday, August 5, 2013

Shachihoko, a Golden Fish, Osaka Castle, Japan

A dear Postcrosser friend from Taiwan traveling in Japan sent this postcard of Shachihoko, a famous golden fish, from Osaka Castle (大坂城 or 大阪城). The castle played a major role in the unification of Japan during the sixteenth century of the Azuchi-Momoyama period.

Shachihoko (鯱) is a mythical creature with a dragon head and a fish body. Sit on the tower roof ridge of Osaka Castle, they were symbols of the prestige and authority, and thought to protect the castle by spitting water from their mouths in an event of fire. Since they were covered in gold, they were believed to have doubled their powers.

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