TIGER GODS #4 : JAPANESE 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.
The shachihoko is a legendary Japanese animal with the head of a tiger and the body of a fish. It is famous for it's power over the rain, calling it at will. Because of this it was used on many traditional Japanese castles and temples, which were mostly made of wood. The shachihoko were adorned on either end of the main roof pole on the highest point of the roof, with the beam going into the shachihoko's mouth, and the fish tail going high into the air. This position was believed to allow it to call rain in case of a fire in the mostly wooden buildings, that would otherwise be defenseless. Japanese temples also often have tiger statues at their gates, with their backs to the temple and their faces treating visitors and scaring away evil.