Tiger [left of the pair Dragon and Tiger], 16th century

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In traditional Chinese cosmology, the tiger and the dragon are two of four creatures associated with the cardinal directions (north, south, east, and west). The tiger is the emblem of the west, and the dragon, the east. In Zen Buddhism, however, the tiger came to be associated with the earthbound enlightened mind, and the dragon the soaring spirit of the freed, enlightened soul. Paired images of tigers and dragons are frequently encountered in Zen temples in Japan on pairs of screens or on sets of sliding-door paintings.

Tiger [left of the pair Dragon and Tiger]
Artist Life
active 16th century
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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