Hearst Museum Portal

Netsuke

Museum number:
9-7931
Permalink:
ark:/21549/hm21090007931
Alternate number:
1-138 (original number)
Accession number:
Acc.2384
Object count:
1
Description:
Netsuke: barefoot bald man holding a staff with rings in his right hand, an open fan in his left. 4.9 cm. ••According to the donor's catalog: "Netsuke in ivory of a man, standing. He is bald-robed—and-bare-footed. In his right hand he holds a shakujo (a staff with rings) and in his left an open large fan—which semi-conceals his face—which is smiling. This Daimon was the original ventriloquist. The Nanuta Bushi (orginally Fushi, meaning musical) is the ventriloquist evolution from Fushi—meaning musical— Nanuta, the old name for Osaka in distinction from Edo Bushi (Tokyo) the rural school of ventriloquists. The Buddhist priests used to carry a shakujo to warn the insects on their paths against being crushed by their bare feet—the feet bare also to lessen the danger to the insects. The ventriloquist shakes his shakujo to warn his audience of the approaching joke and laughs behind his fan—for the approaching joke, it being considered by the Japanese bad taste to laugh openly, in the face of someone else. It also is considered bad taste ever to point with the finger—it must be done with some object held in the hand (like a pen).
Donor:
Estate of Geraldine C. and Kernan Robson
Collection place:
Japan
Production place:
Japan
Culture or time period:
Japanese
Collector:
Geraldine C. Robson
Collection date:
before 1940
Materials:
Ivory (material)
Object type:
ethnography
Function:
2.2 Personal Adornments and Accoutrements
Accession date:
1968
Context of use:
Toggle to be attached to the end of a cord and thrust through the sash of a kimono for the support of a purse, pouch or lacquer box.
Department:
Cat. 9 - Asia (incl. Russia east of Urals)
Dimensions:
height 4.9 centimeters
Images:
Legacy documentation:
3D: