Can anyone tell what this is?

I think this might be Shishin but I am not sure.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Joseph Louis says:

    A japanese or chinese demon?? :-)

  2. Dan J. Howell says:

    To me it looks like an oversized dragon teapot. ;)

  3. Folks: I’m serious. I really want to know about this object.

  4. Jacob M. says:

    Father Zuhlsdorf,
        Are there any markings on the bottom, English or otherwise?
                                        Jacob M.

  5. Dan J. Howell says:

    Fr. Z the item in question is called a Dragon Turtle and it is used in Feng Shui. The Dragon symbolizes luck, the turtle long life and the baby turtle is a symbol of new beginnings. The Dragon Headed Turtle (Tortoise, Terrapin,) is the symbol of longevity in your home, especially for the head of the house. The dragon headed turtle is also a powerful symbol of wealth, health, prosperity and protection. The Dragon Headed Turtle brings with it the ancient secrets that can protect a home from negative energies. Here is the link to wikipedia.

  6. Tim H says:

    Definately some kind of representation of the “Celestial Tortoise” used by Nu Gua to form the universe, the turtle on the back is probably the Guixian of the Sishu (Shishin).

  7. Deborah says:


    “A dragon turtle is a legendary Chinese turtle with a dragonlike head. It combines two of the four celestial animals of Chinese mythology. It is promoted as a positive ornament in Feng Shui. The dragon sits on top of large coins with a small turtle on its back representing fertility. It is believed that the dragon brings the occupants of a home wealth and security. The dragon is traditionally placed facing the window.”

  8. Deborah says:

    Dan,you must have beat me to the submit comment button. Oh well, it was fun looking it up.

  9. Curmudgeon says:

    Looks like the beginning of Dr. Seuss’s Yertle the Turtle. Although the turlte named Mac isn’t quite the same as Dr. Seuss drew him….”On the faraway island of Salamazond, Yertle the Turtle was king of the pond. A nice little pond, it was clean, it was neat, …”

  10. Father: In Japan that looks a bit like one of the 4 Gods of the Directions (?? “shishin”). Obviously, the Chinese, in this case, is the same as the Japanese. I believe that could be, in Japanese,
    ???, “Genbu”, the Black Warrior of the North. I believe the Chinese and the Koreans also have names for the mythological characters of the 4 directions but I don’t know what they are called in China or Korea or if he looks the same.

    But, I don’t think that is Genbu of Japan, I’ve never seen him with a tortoise sitting on his back like that in Japan. I’m wondering if there isn’t a Hindi connection to it? I’ve seen similar Indian figures with a tortoise on the back. But, the dragon is definitely very Buddhist looking.

    Sorry, this probably confused the issue. Well, at least maybe you know more of what he’s not.

  11. bee says:

    Dan is right. It´s a Feng Shui Dragon Turtle. They reinforce wealth, success and prosperity and the fulfillment of your wishes and dreams.

  12. Frank says:

    Dear Father,

    The picture seems to show a Bixi (in Chinese ??). In Chinese legend, this is supposed to be the fourth son of the Dragon. ?The dragon is said to have nine sons.?It was known for its great strength. For this reason, it is often carved as the base of huge stone tablets with engraved text, like those near palaces and temples. Bixi did not originally have a dragon head. It gradually developed into this form by about the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). It is often depicted with only one horn in the middle of the head, like a unicorn.

  13. chris K says:

    I suppose, Father, that the little fella didn’t come with any operating instructions. Well, here ya go:

    Legend has it that the turtle has within his body the secret of heaven and earth and the design of his shell shows the magic square, which is the guide for life.

    This beautiful dragon headed turtle can be used to improve relationships by placing a piece of red ribbon in his mouth, to attract wealth use golden ribbon.

    If you are having Health problems place a piece of blue ribbon in his mouth.

    To increase his strength place him in the North of your lounge or office or place him behind you when you are sitting at your desk to give you support.

    To increase your success or improve your options place one inside your front door on a table, in the evening turn him round to face the interior.

    Never place him in the kitchen or bathroom.

  14. MSusa says:

    Hey Fr, what are you going to do with it?
    Suggestion, since you have a lot of ice and snow, I would smash it up and put it on the walk ways so you don’t slip.

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