Ming (right) and Boxer foot(left) in a display case THE LION AND THE FOOT - A new metal and acrylic case holds one of the original Boxer feet and "Ming", a Chinese statue once proposed as a Boxer replacement. (Sarah Conkey ’09 photo)

Is Boxer A Giraffe?


Fighting Giraffes? Both the original Boxer statue, believed to have been cast in China between 100 to 600 years ago, and the Boxer II replica, cast from student funds in 1992, are missing. So too is the original’s fan tail, single horn and at least one foot. One of those feet was returned anonymously this past summer. Also returning to Pacific after disappearing in the 1960s was Ming, another Chinese statue once promoted as an alternative to Boxer. Both pieces are in a secure display in the new PULSE lounge in the Washburne University Center.

Meanwhile, in the ongoing Department of "What is it?" Yasutake Maruki, Assistant Professor, World Literatures and Language, says the statue is indeed a qilin (pronounced chee-lin). "But I would like to point out that this is one of four mythical creatures in China, dragon, turtle, fenguhuang (phoenix), and our qilin. So it should not be a dragon or even a dog for that matter." In Japan, where he comes from, the qilin is called a kirin, or giraffe. Now that would be an unusual mascot. Check out the Wikipedia entry for more information.

- Steve Dodge