Sunday, December 19, 2010
These 4 statues, located now at the tomb known as Kibitsuhime Kofun in Asuka, are known as Saruishi, Monkey Stones, as their faces somewhat resemble monkeys.
They were dug up in a field next to nearby Kinmei Kofun in the Edo Period, and may be what a 16th Century book referred to as demon statues located on the kofun.
There are numerous theories as to what they are and what they mean, but the bottom line is nobody knows.
They do bear a similarity to some other statues on the Korean peninsular, and the area around Asuka was known to be settled by many immigrant clans.
Their are many other mysterious stone objects in the Asuka area which also are unknown in their meaning or origin.