Japanese wood zuishin figures probably from early 1900s. They are figures of the Toneri, the imperial guardsmen from the Heian period (794-1185). Later in the Kamakura period, they became the gate keepers of the Shinto shrines. Zuishin are sometimes called sa(left)-daijin and ya(arrows)-daijin (arrow-minister). The first character 'dai' means large or great and the second character means 'god'. There are zuishin dolls in Japanese Hina doll - the Minister of the Right and the Left - the character means 'minister' is often used with the dolls. With detains in their faces, this is a very nice looking guardian figures.
Approx. 12 3/4"H (to tip of hat) x 12"W x 4 1/4"D