Komainu, often called lion-dogs in English, are statue pairs of lion-like creatures either guarding the entrance or the inner shrine of many Japanese Shinto shrines or kept inside the inner shrine itself, where they are not visible to the public. The first type, born during the Edo period, is called sando komainu (visiting road Komainu), the second and much older type jinnai komainu (shrine inside komainu). They can sometimes be found also at Buddhist temples, nobility residences or even private homes. See "Komainu". Wikipedia. Retrieved 2014-12-13.