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The Dragon Sings, The Tiger Roars

Nukina Kaioku, Japanese, 1778 - 1863

Made in Japan, Asia

Edo Period (1615-1868)

c. 1850

Ink on paper; mounted as a two-fold screen

64 1/2 x 66 1/4 inches (163.8 x 168.3 cm) framed

Curatorial Department:
East Asian Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Purchased with the George W.B. Taylor Fund, and with funds contributed by Mr. and Mrs. Warren H. Watanabe, funds (by exchange) from the Blanchard Fund and the Thomas Skelton Harrison Fund, and with gifts (by exchange) of Mrs. Frank Thorne Patterson, Mrs. Harald Paumgarten, the Simon A. Stern Collection, Mrs. David Townsend in memory of her husband, and Mrs. Albert Weimer, 1992

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The painter and calligrapher Nukina Kaioku was a leading Confucian scholar in Kyoto, Japan. Here he uses his favorite calligraphic style, the semi-cursive, for the kanji (Chinese characters) appearing on each panel of this screen: "dragon sings" on the right and "tiger roars" on the left. The characters for tiger and dragon stand in for the usual physical depictions of the beasts, which are commonly paired on East Asian screens. Kaioku also adds a sense of sound to the visual play by adding the characters for "roar" and "sing," inviting the viewer to participate in the creative process by supplying his own visual and audial images for the two creatures.