Hind leg scratching his turned head and ear.
Yeah... now you see it.
These things are usually grim (smiling, but grim) guardians of temples... with one perched atop a ball or playing with a pup or standing erect sneering down at the lowly visitor who dares defile the temple with their presence.
But... here's a painted carving of one guardian, obviously off-duty... perched up 15 or so feet high up in a dark corner. No one should ever have seen him scratching himself...
My back was stiff after walking around all day, and I stretched backwards and caught a glimpse of something. I used my telephoto lens on my 35mm camera... and lo-and-behold... this is what I saw. Just luck.
Actually, it took me a couple of minutes to figure out exactly what the heck I was looking at... and when it clicked in... well, I'm betting I made some Japanese kami (spirit) and the shade of a dead artistic carver very happy.
I mean really... over the 400 years... how many people have actually seen this work of art... or knew what it was and what it was doing? 100? A 1,000? 10? Maybe it was just me?
After that, whenever I entered a temple, I inspected every dark corner of every ceiling. This was pretty much the only cool secret I found... but I'm sure there are other neat things out there and maybe you'll find one yourself.