Hearst Museum Portal

Netsuke

Museum number:
9-7606
Permalink:
ark:/21549/hm21090007606
Alternate number:
5-6 (original number)
Accession number:
Acc.2384
Object count:
2
Description:
Netsuke in double manju (flat cake, bun) form. Made of red and black lacquer, ivory, tortoise shell, and amber inlay. The subject of this netsuke is unknown, although it is probably a samurai. The figures stand above stylized rocks at the base of the piece, a tree peony arches overhead. The finely carved background is called the asanao pattern. Dated to around 1800. According to the donor's catalog: "Netsuke in red lacquer manju - farm - on its facetus men are standing bonded together in the reverse - a man in robes - with a very sacred face - and two small horns, in head. Yorimitsu (Raiko) and his boon associate Watana no Tauna. On reverse the Shutendoji (drunkard boy) always in robes - with the horned sacred face above. The Shutendoji feet tall - was the head of a murderous gang - who stole all the girls within their radius pillaged and then ate them. A company was organized with Raiko Watanake - repaired to the ogres den not in armour - been disguised as mountain - climbing [untranscribable] trees who were frequent in the cleyama, where the shutendoji and her men lived. They had tea with the ogre, professing to be like him cannibals. This put the Shutendoji off guard, and it was easy enough to kill him - but when the head was severed -- such was the vitality and vein of the creature, that the head, alone jumped at Raiko and would have killed him had he not been dressed in magic tressess. On their way to the ogres den, Raiko and Watanbe had met a girl whose mother and father had been eaten, the day before the gang. Mourning over their bones- the girl gave an account of the daily doings of the band from dawn to dawn. Instead os sympathizing with her over her loss, the men jumped up and down in exultant joy, for the very valuable information she had given to them. They were wearing, under their disguises, charmoned talismans that their sympathetic admirers had given them when they set out on their enterprise - and what with their great strength and skill - their charms - and their information they were well equipped with the most formidable demon. Raiko was a [untranscribable] of the tenth and eleventh century, and Watanabe the unfailing companion in all his exploits."
Donor:
Estate of Geraldine C. and Kernan Robson
Collection place:
Japan
Collector:
Geraldine C. Robson
Collection date:
before 1940
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:
diameter 4.2 centimeters
Legacy documentation: