Framed Meiji Japanese Tiger Embroidery Tapestry

Framed Meiji Japanese Tiger Embroidery Tapestry


This is a newly acquired piece, in amazing condition and beautifully executed! I feel so lucky to be its custodian! From my understanding, this was made during the Meiji period in Japan, which was roughly between 1860's through 1912. 

Tigers have long held a sense of mysticism and intrigue for their power, solitary lives and courage. They have played integral roles in ancient and modern cultures and folklore; being used to represent various characteristics and symbolisms through the centuries. The age-old cultures that exist in places like India, China and Japan have used tigers excessively in their various folklores, tales and myths. Thus, these animals have become important parts in a number of different cultures identities.

Though they have never lived in the wild anywhere within the Japanese archipelago, the Japanese have long known about the tiger, so highly esteemed, and feared, on the continent , from pictures, stories and skins, which were brought over by emissaries, monks, traders and soldiers. The Japanese word for tiger, tora, is believed to be of southern Chinese origin, deriving from the word taira.

The first appearance of the tiger in Japanese texts is in the Nihon Shoki (720, the second oldest Japanese text after the Kojiki). There, one can find the account of Kashiwade no Omihasui, who in the 6th year of the reign of the Emperor Kinmei 545 AD, was sent to the Kingdom of Paekche (Kudara in Japanese), on the Korean Peninsula, as an ambassador. According to the story, Kashiwade took his wife and child with him. When they arrived on the shores of the peninsula, the sun had set, and in the darkness the child disappeared, grabbed by a tiger. The Japanese ambassador pursued the animal, and eventually slew it with his sword. He later brought the skin back with him to Japan.

The tiger also appears in the earliest collection of Japanese poems- the Manyoshu (8th Century), where one poet refers to the tiger as The Korean God called the Tiger. This reflects the feeling of respect, fear, and awe towards the tiger, which was carried over to Japan from the continent.

The tiger is one of the 12 Chinese Zodiac animals. Tigers represent royalty in eastern Asia. In fact, the marking on the tigers forehead looks very similar to the Chinese character that is translates to the English word “King”; therefore, the tiger has been dubbed the King of the Animals. The White Tiger represents the west of China as well as the season of autumn. It is one of the Four Symbols of the Chinese Constellation. They are the national animals of Malaysia, South Korea, Bangladesh and India. 

The back is cotton, while the embroidery threads are silk. The tones of this piece are exquisite, carefully composed with much attention to detail. The tiger, which I have been captivated by since reading The Tiger by John Vaillant, has enraptured my imagination for it's killer instincts, loyalty and keen sense of fairness. They only kill those that threaten or poach them!

I took photos of it prior to going to the framer, so one could see it without the glass. It has just come back from the framer and they did a superb job! The embroidered piece sits on a beautiful, muted sage green silk background with an elegant greyish green wood frame.

The measurements are 42 1/4" in height, 29 5/8" wide by 1 1/4" in depth.

Please convo for specific information regarding shipping. The cost may have some variables depending on your zip code. We can either ship it via Greyhound or per white glove shipping.

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