I’m not sure what this really is. Is it a kind of gargoyle? Anyway,I saw this strange object at the Tōshō-gū (東照宮) shrine, Nikko and felt some eerie thing. Probably, it is an imaginary elephant which was carried from China long long ago. (footnoted)
From ancient days, Tōrō (灯籠) has a eerie face. Some stories says you might see someone eerie around midnight and it would be a light tower.
This challenge was set by the Daily Post.
Note: 6 Nov. 2013
Yukitten taught me that the animal in the first picture is Baku, imaginary one from China, having nose of elephant, feet of tiger, etc. Now I understand why such figure is there.