This is a tiger, painted as a Japanese folk art doll. The yin tiger has dominion over the earth, while the yang dragon rules the heavens. This tiger, however, is cute rather than ferocious, painted with Zen humor.
Seki Bokuo was born in Gunma prefecture. He was Dharma-Heir of Seki Seisetsu and spent many years as Zen master and abbot of Tenryu-ji, a major Rinzai temple in Kyoto. Bokuo wrote numerous books on different aspects of Zen training, and he was a prolific, and talented, Zen artist.