Woodblock


Above is a Japanese woodblock print from 1886. It depicts a half tiger half tengu beast defeating cholera by clobbering sick people with it's massive testicles... Yeah.

EDIT: There's some controversy as to whether it actually is half tengu (see comments). I know that tengu usually look like birds not dogs. It's possible that it's called a tengu because it's being mistaken for the Chinese tiangou, or maybe they're literally just calling it a heavenly dog. If any of you are experts in art history and/or Japanese mythology let me know.

26 comments:

  1. Where the hell did you read that it was "half tengu"? A tengu is a raven-spirit in Japan... "tian gou", as a dog, is from chinese folklore.
    this is an epic fail, seriously.

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  2. Uh... Anon1, a Tengu may commonly be depicted as a crow/raven spirit, but it literally does mean heavenly dog, and originally was pictured as such. It is not an epic fail, just a fail. This isn't WTF at all, just art history.

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  3. Anonymous 1 is ignorant. The author of this site is awesome. Anonymous 1, try using wikipedia before spewing shit like you just did. Anonymous 2, I applaud your opposing comment toward Anonymous 1.

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  4. I, Anonymous 3, don't give a rat's ass about the comment so Anonymous 1 or 2, but I do love the giant testicles in the picture.

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  5. That is just freaking creepy, seriously. D:
    Hahahaha. XD

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  6. I think Japanese Badger spirits have giant balls Miazaki made a movie about it.

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  7. Could the back half be a tanuki? They're Japanese raccoon dogs that show up a lot in folklore and stuff, and are usually depicted with enormous testicles. In fact, if you go to the Wikipedia page for "tanuki," there's a woodcarving with almost identical massive reproductive organs.

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  8. Yeah, the big-balls Stuff is more about a Tanuki. But... The "Tengu" called Thing was once really the heavenly Dog, but just in China, the "real" japanese Tengu once had like... no Name until they took the Name "Tengu". So this is likely to be no Tengu, because none of the characteristics really fit.

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  9. cud it b that the tiger is giving the people on the right cholera and the people on the left r fighting it?

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  10. it does seem apt that its a half tiger half dog-like thing but i havent heard of any dog except the Raccoon-Dog (Tanuki) having gigantic testicles. those things were magical, man.

    (see: Pom-Poko)

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  11. LRRH: My, what big balls you have grandma!
    Grandma / BBW: The better to...oops, let me cover those up. Where were we again?

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  12. The tiger represents cholera - the first character "ko" in"korera" is tiger. The people on the left, including the health/hygiene corps (eiseitai), are fighting the cholera.

    The title of the print is "the crusade against cholera" or "Subduing Cholera"

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  13. Found a Japanese description:
    "Korera Taiji" (1886, by Kimura Takejiro) The painting depicts the cholera epidemic in 1877. The cholera pathogen was represented as a tiger's head, wolf's body, racoon's testicles; a monster so mighty that even phenol (the liquid coming out of the bottle) could not defeat. [Journal of Medical Folklore from woodblock print]

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  14. All I see is a pissed off tiger with hernia...

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  15. its half tiger half tanuki. tanukies are raccoon dogs, cause they resemble the raccoon but aren't the same species.
    best example of tanuki is the anime pom poko

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  16. tengu's are birdmen

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  17. I think it's a tanuki, and it might be half disguised - you know how they love to make up and make themselves look like humans, fox or whatever...

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  18. cholera just got teabagged

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  19. Tengu means "mountain goblin", and theres 2 kinds:

    Hanadaka Tengu (which are buddhist monks transformed into a yokai as punishment for bad behaviour. They look like humans with a extremely long nose.)

    Karasu Tengu (Which are the ones who looks like a mix between a crow and a human.)

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  20. This is actually a Nue, only thing it's missing is a snake for a tail and a monkey part. Thank god for touhou.

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  21. Yep, whoever that said this is a depiction of cholera epidemic is correct.
    The name "cholera" was first introduced by Dutch merchants during Edo period. It spread amongst the people in pronunciation form such as KO-RE-RI or KO-RO-RI. 虎狼狸(kanji for tiger, wolf, raccoon) was one of the kanji combination people used to write KORORI. They imagined (as good Japanese people would) that this horrible monster was going around from house to house spreading the sickness.
    This print is from post-Edo period, but the imagery of the monster is still used to depict the terrible disease.

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  22. its a half tiger half Tanuki

    A tanuki kills people with its massive balls and is a raccoon dog.

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  23. Anonymous February 25 9:33
    It could also be a Nue though.

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  24. The description of this is completely wrong. I just went to a lecture on this. The tiger/wolf/tanuki chimera hybrid represents the cholera. When people used microscopes and saw the cholera bacilli, they realized that they were looking at tiny animals. The folklore at the time had some play in seeing these tiny beasts as this hybrid. They also occasionally used the fox instead of the wolf. Both the fox and the tanuki are trickster god/spirits in Japanese lore.

    The people fighting the cholera chimera are spraying it with carbolic acid. Plum vinegar (umesu) was also used as a disinfectant. Cholera went by many names throughout the various epidemic periods. One of the terms was korori, which is a pun as that is also the word for falling over, one of the symptoms caused by the disease.

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