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Lions Playing with a Rolled Silk Ball

Tags: blessing | print

In ancient times, the king of animals are said to be tigers while some people claimed that it is lions. Lion (shi) is homophonic to the Chinese word for “master.” In the ancient bureaucratic system, the “Three Masters” (san shi) were high officials who served as guides to the emperor. Hence lions may be used to wish others good success in their career. Legend has it that when a male and female lion play together, their fur tangles into a ball and from it a baby lion is born. Therefore, “lions playing with a rolled silk ball” refers to good fortune and prosperity. In addition, because lions are fierce, they are considered to be able to scare away evil just like what the door gods do.


78 x55 cm

National Museum of History