Fu Dogs
Berry Street (and else where), Liverpool L1

Picture by Jonathan P. Neill
Material: Bronze

Temple Lions, sometimes referred to as Fu Dogs, first appeared in China with the coming of Buddhism. Their function was to symbolically protect and guard against evil. They are commonly seen outside the main door of a house or business and in the case of a major building, a temple or, as in this case, Liverpool's Chinese Arch in Nelson Street, the building may be protected by multiple pairs. One pair is situated in Great George Street near to the former Congregationalist Church now known as The Blackie. Another pair is situated in Nelson Street at the junction with Great George Square. This pair is situated in Berry Street, one on each pavement, near the junction with Bold Place. According to the rules of feng shui Fu Dogs should face outwards. As you approach the protected building the Fu Dog on your right should be the male dog which will hold a globe under one paw. The Fu Dog on the left as you look towards the building is the female who will be nurturing a cub under a paw. The globe of the male signifies the moon-pearl and also the sun (the Yang). The female with cub is symbolic of nurture and protection (the Ying). Dogs or lions? Which is the most fearsome fighter? Which is the oldest animal friend of man, scenting intrusion to the camp?


Alan Maycock 2008

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