The Chinese guardian lions in front of the Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia were purchased by the Tokyo Institute of the Academy of Oriental Culture in 1932 for research purposes. Due to their design, these guardian lions are thought to have been made during the early Qing dynasty. In China, guardian lions are often placed by gates to tombs, Taoist temples or Buddhist temples. The Academy of Oriental Culture was launched under the supervision of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1929 with reparations from China for the Boxer Rebellion. The Academy of Oriental Culture was shut down in 1948, and its Tokyo Institute, which was located in the Otsuka area, remained in the same location and was integrated into the Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia of the University of Tokyo. The Institute was later relocated to the Hongo Campus, but the guardian lions remained in Otsuka (in front of the former Tokyo Institute building). In 1995, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs relinquished possession of the former Tokyo Institute building in Otsuka, and it was decided that the Chinese guardian lions would be given back to the Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia. They were then accordingly moved to their current location on the Hongo Campus.