TIGER GODS #3: THE KOREAN TIGER

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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Like in China, in Korea the tiger is traditionally seen as the divine spirit that guards the West. Stone tiger statues were also used to protect royal tombs from evil spirits in ancient Korea. The tiger is seen as a creature of great courage and insurmountable power, famously untamable. In one legend, a tiger and a bear came to Dangun, the mythical creator of the first Korean kingdom, wishing to become human beings. The bear was able to become a woman by meditating on Dangun's teachings in a cave for 100 days, but not even the tiger himself could keep his power at bay for that long, and he ran off into the mountains over which he still continues to rule.