Gusuku Sites and Related Properties of the Kingdom of Ryukyu, Japan - 2015
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Shisa statue near the arch-shaped stone gate to the Shuri Palace.
Shisa are very important in the Ryukyuan culture. People from the Ryukyu islands place pairs of shisa on their rooftops or flanking the gates to their houses. The left shisa traditionally has a closed mouth (the female) that keeps good spirits in and the right shisa has an open mouth (the male) that wards off evil spirits.