Komainu statues often look like a cross between a dog and a lion. They are guardian statues to the entrance of holy areas or shrines. Koma is the old name for Korea and inu means "dog;" literally, Korean dogs. One will often have an open mouth "ah," and the other will have a closed mouth, "un." When humans are born, they make the sound "ah,ah," and when they die, they have a closed mouth and make a sound like "un." This symbolizes "yin and yang" or the "universe."