Unsigned fierce tiger netsuke
Kyoto, circa 1820
A fierce tiger snarls threateningly as it balances on a thick section of bamboo. Its muscled body is sinuous, with powerful shoulders and big paws that add to its sense of menace. A traditional pairing of Kano school paintings, the tiger and bamboo symbolise the brute strength of the animal combined with the flexibility of the bamboo, representing the ideal of a warrior.