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Watōnai subduing a tiger

Identifier: 1780-90c Shunei tiger

Judging from the number of extant variants on this theme this was a popular subject for Shun'ei. Offhand we know of three other examples which are illustrated in James King and Yuriko Iwakiri's book on Japanese warrior prints.

Watōnai is the hero of the play Kokusenya kassen or The Battle of Coxinga. One day, after returning to China with his parents, Watōnai was walking through a bamboo forest when he encountered a tiger. "He did not kill the beast but charmed and subdued it." (King and Iwakiri, p. 116.)

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