kongougaki 金剛垣. A fence made of vertical stakes with decoratively
shaped tops resembling the *kongousho
金剛杵 (Sk: vajra, diamond pounder), a ritual object used in esoteric
Buddhist rites. In cross section, the stake is triangular and has three
indentations, suggesting the three-pronged ritual object sanko 三鈷.
The stakes are used to protect the statues of the deity *Niou
仁王 (*Kongou rikishi
金剛力士; Sk: Vajrapani) from sightseers. The stakes themselves are called kongou.
Sometimes the fence is painted green. The Niou statues are placed
on either side of the gate called *nioumon
二王門 and are believed to ward off evil.