Hearst Museum Portal


Museum number:
Alternate number:
3-105 (original number), 4-232 (original number), and 5-209 (original number)
Accession number:
Object count:
netsuke: kagami-buta form. man offering sword to God of waves. God seated in stylized wave pattern. 5.8 cm. dia. Casing is cracked
Estate of Geraldine C. and Kernan Robson
Collection place:
Culture or time period:
Geraldine C. Robson
Collection date:
before 1940
Ivory (material) and Metal
Object type:
2.2 Personal Adornments and Accoutrements
Accession date:
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.
Cat. 9 - Asia (incl. Russia east of Urals)
diameter 5.8 centimeters
Per Robeson Accession Notebook: Large netsuke in dark wood of tall, epic man with super-man expression [?], and radical eyebrows [??], a sun hat, an arrow in hand and a quiver on his back. Depicts the great archer Yi. Yao, the legendary emporer, had two daughters whom he gave to Shun (also a legendary emporer) in wedlock. Yao had the right to name his successor and had his eye on Shun for a long time, but to certify him he gave him his two daughters, saying that if he could live happily with two wives, he would rule a kingdom. This Sun did and everything was divinely o.k.!! [?] One of Shun's wives gave birth to ten sons, who were also suns. Nine of the sons played under the mulberry tree and one remained in heaven. At one time, however, the ten sons took it into their heads to shine in the sky at the same time, and the people on earth dropped dead from the heat. There was nothing to do but summon Yi and have him use his good arrows to shoot down nine of the sons who turned into black ravens as soon as the touched the earth. This is supposed to refer to some terriably hot time, chronicled in China, and the ravens are the sun spots. Yi's wife stole a cup from Yi. This cup of jade, given to him by Hsi Wang Mu, in gratitude for the great good he had done for man in shooting down the sons. His wife fled with the cup to the moon, where she was instantly transformed into a frog; hence, the frog that is seen in the moon. He name is Ch'ang N'go.
Legacy documentation: