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A Ming Dynasty guardian lion in the Forbidden City.

Kay Nine is based off of a Komainu, often called lion-dogs in English. Though, Komainu are not also limited to dogs, but to also a variety of other animals, like mice, cats, or foxes. They 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. They can sometimes be found also at Buddhist temples, nobility residences or even private homes. They are meant to ward off evil spirits.