In Indian Buddhist mythology, the guardian kings of the four directions dwell on the upper slopes of Mount Meru. In a Japanese Buddhist temple, the guardian kings are placed on an elaborate platform representing Mount Meru. When only two guardians are displayed, the guardians of the east and south are paired, flanking the buddha Amitabha, a principal deity. They are depicted as warriors wearing armor. Their raised arms once held weapons. Each stands on a demon, a symbol of evil.
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