TIGER GODS #2: IN CHINA

Last season our collection brought you into the midst of the asian jungle, touring the animal rulers and human explorers within. This season we're exploring the skies, the asian gods, and their earthly temples, including clouds in the day and night, cloud-hopping tigers, and aerodynamic pilots. This month on the KENZO blog we'll take you to meet some of our favorite tiger- and tiger-riding- gods and goddesses and the cultures they've influenced.
 

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The tiger is one of the most important and most common symbols in traditional Chinese art and religion. One of the most popular gods in China, the Taoist God of Wealth, Tsai Shen Yeh, is often seen riding a tiger, similarly to the Hindu Goddess Durga, harnessing the tiger's strength to help it protect his followers wealth and lives. The tiger is believed to be the king of the animals and the mountains (sorry lions), and because of this tigers in traditional Chinese art are often drawn with three stripes on their forehead, depicting the character for king 王 . The tiger is a one of the four cardinal creatures, along with the Black Tortoise of the North, Green Dragon of the East, and Vermillion Bird of the South, representing the West, making an integral part of feng shui, playing his part in Chinese building designs. Tiger Gods are also one to be feared Taoist beliefs: in late winter when the animals are waking up from hibernation, paper tigers are set in front of temples and given food offerings to appease the ferocious Tiger God, hungry from his long sleep.