Okinawan sculptor to present a large-sized shisa to the Okinawa Association of Argentina

Okinawan sculptor to present a large-sized <em>shisa</em> to the Okinawa Association of Argentina

Minoru Kinjo created a pair of the large-sized shisa presented to Argentina. At Kinjo's atelier in Gima district of Yomitan on April 11.

April 17, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo

Seventy-five-year-old sculptor Minoru Kinjo, based in Yomitan Village, will present a pair of large-sized shisa to the Okinawa Association of Argentina. Shisa is a traditional Okinawan ceramic art. Shisa or lion-dogs are believed to ward off evil spirits. The sculptures will be sent by ship to Argentina. The association will erect them at the main gate of its athletic field in Buenos Aires in the middle of June.

On April 11, Kijo and supporters for the project held a completion ceremony at his atelier in Gima district of the village and prayed for safe shipping to the South American country.

The sculpture is 215 centimeters high and one meter wide. Its overall length is two meters. Using cement plaster and cement, Kinjo took three months to complete the shisa.

Seeing Kijo’s creative activities on a TV program, the people involved in the association asked him to create shisa sculptures.

Kinjo decided to do it for free because his relatives live in Argentina.
About 80 people, including friends of Kinjo and the Village Mayor Denzitsu Ishimine took part in the ceremony.

Kinjo said, “It was a big task for me because the last time I did something like this was 30 years ago, when I created a big lion at Cape Zanpa. I decided to create the large-sized shisa to pay tribute to Argentina. I appreciate that the people of the association asked me to work for the project.”

Seventy-five-year-old Sentaro Yagi of the association that asked Kinjo to create the sculptures, said, “Young members of the association’s board do not know shisa. Shisa will come across the water to Argentina. I appreciate the warm heart of Kinjo and supporters of the project.” He called for promoting exchange between Okinawa and Argentina.

The shisa was shipped from the atelier on April 20.

Kinjo will visit Argentina to take part in a ceremony to erect the sculptures.

(English translation by T&CT)

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