A final look at some of the intriguing Nio to be found at shrines and temples on the Kunisaki Peninsula in northern Kyushu. This first one is not a real nio but a sculpture used as a comment/message box at Maki Odo temple.
In the temples treasure house/museum there were a pair of old wooden nio that once stood on guard there.
At Taizoji, the small temple at the foot of the steps that lead up to the giant Kumano Magaibutsu, a smallish pair of stone nio.
This final pair of big, wooden Nio were in the museum of Usa Hachimangu museum.
before the separation of buddhas and kami they would have stood guard at the shrines entrance.
Usa Hachimangu had long been a syncretic site incorporating buddhism with kami worship, but whereas many of the shrines in Kunisaki seem to have escaped the rigid separation of buddhas and kami, Usa because of its imperial connection did not/