Dragon and Tiger

Attributed to Kano Naonobu

Edo period (1615-1868), Before 1658

The Dragon and the Tiger are opposing, yet complimentary, forces within Japanese mythology. Together they represent the Yin and the Yang of the universe. They are often shown flanking paintings of a Buddhist deity. Such opposites were popular within Zen Buddhism.


Before entering our collection these scrolls needed conservation and remounting. During this process, papers were discovered behind the paintings that are dated to the Meireki era (1655-1658) in Japan. This means that our paintings must date prior to this era. Combined with the Kano school seal that appears on each painting, this information helps us identify these paintings as most likely the work of Kano Naonobu (1607-1650), one of the masters of the Kano school of painting favored by the Shoguns.