Fierce Tiger and Waterfall

Yosa Buson1767

Fukuda Art Museum

Fukuda Art Museum
Kyoto, Japan

Tigers have been featured in works by many painters, but aren’t native to Japan, requiring artists to look to coats and paintings imported from China and the Korean Peninsula. The tiger in this work differs from the genuine article in some respects. It leans forward on its forelimbs with a waterfall in the background, staring to the right, but the pattern at the center of its back disappears halfway, making it appear as if it has no backbone. The tips of its limbs are significantly larger than those of actual tigers. This may be because the painting was based on a tiger coat whose limb ends were cut open.
The large bamboo leaves in the foreground blow from right to left, suggesting a strong wind. The weeds and bamboo grass on the rock, as well as the finely painted tiger coat, use techniques from Shen Nanpin, a Chinese painter who took up residence for a time in Nagasaki.


  • Title: Fierce Tiger and Waterfall
  • Creator: Yosa Buson
  • Date Created: 1767
  • Location Created: Japan
  • Physical Dimensions: h 31.40, w 31.40 cm
  • Type: Hanging scroll
  • Original Source: Fukuda Art Museum, Arashiyama, Kyoto, Japan
  • Medium: color on silk
  • Art Genre: Japanese Paintings
  • Art Form: painting
  • Support: silk

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