Heian Noblewoman and the Koma-Inu – Sumi-e Illustration

Young woman of a noble family in formal Heian-era Japanese dress called “kazami.” She stands in her garden greeted by a komainu (supernatural dog guardian).

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Koma-Inu are the lion dogs which guard temples in Japan. Their use is similar to gargoyles by repelling evil spirits. It’s believed that dogs can see ghosts and can ward them away. So, sleep with dogs in your room!

I drew this today with my Japanese brush in sumi-e (ink painting) style. Did you know the character Sesshomaru from the anime/manga series InuYasha, is based on the Koma-Inu and his “mokomoko-sama” (the fur over his shoulder) is supposed to resemble the mane of a Koma-Inu? 😉

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One thought on “Heian Noblewoman and the Koma-Inu – Sumi-e Illustration

  1. I love this illustration. The brush style is so dynamic and looks old, classic and yet modern. Nice work!

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