Japanese Meditation Kanji A-un 'Perfect Harmony' Keychain
These two kanji characters are pronounced 'A-un.' Uttering this to a Japanese person might well bring to their mind images of one or both pairs of well known statues, Nio and Koma Inu. Nio are a pair of fierce looking guards who protect the entrances to many well known temples, and Koma Inu are two lion-like creatures likewise standing sentinel in front of Shinto shrines.
In both cases, one of the pair has an open mouth('saying 'ah'), while the others is closed(saying 'un'). Together, they symbolize the beginning and end of all things, the entirety of existence in the universe.
In addition to this connotation, these characters have also come to be used figuratively to convey a state of harmony between a pair, as in the expression A-un no kokyu, referring to two people breathing as one, and carrying the more general meaning of being in harmony with one another. Brush artist Hiro created this work at his studio in Kyoto by hand. Then we scanned it for use here.
In India, the original sanskrit is often used as a mantra in meditation, pronounced A-om. A version of this, simply 'om', is doubtlessly familiar to any who have practiced meditation or yoga as well as many who have not.
The bold brush strokes contrast well with a simple white base and Hiro's red name stamp in the lower left corner adds a dash of vibrant colour that brings this artwork to life.