A fiercely looking tiger, or tora, is crouching on a large bamboo stalk. This relates to the motif take ni tora, “tiger in bamboo”. There are many different interpretations; the tiger has a strong nature, is flexible and resilient like the bamboo, but it is also said that the strong tiger is looking for shelter underneath the bamboo, as any earthly power is inferior to the forces of nature. Moreover, the tiger and bamboo represent the power of faith in Buddhism. Very fine, self-contained, lively and charming work. The artist attached a shoot on the side, so the netsuke does not roll over. Finely carved signature SHIGEMASA on the underside.
HEIGHT 4.2 CM
Condition: Good general condition, perhaps a smoothed-out chip on one of the openings of the bamboo stalk
Provenance: French private collection, acquired at Godeau, June 2nd, 1980