netsuke, japan, craft, art, design
Netsuke of a basket of fish, Japan, 18th century. Museum no. A.59-1952
Museum no. A.59-1952
Netsuke of a basket of fish, including an octopus.
Netsuke - Shojo sleeping, Japan, 1750-1850. Museum no. A.894-1910
Museum no. A.894-1910
Figure of a sleeping Shojo, a mythical creature with a liking for drinking sake. A kindly creature from Japanese mythology, Shojos live on the bottom of the sea. They have red hair and a pink or red skin and are naked but for a skirt of green seaweed. The figure here is sleeping and leaning forward into its lap, therefore the nakedness is hidden. They brew a medicinal white wine called 'shiroi sake' and other medicines. If a good person drinks the sake, it will taste delicious and heals all ailments. If consumed by a wicked person it will kill them, unless the drinker repents at once.
Netsuke depicting Raiden, Japan, 19th century. Museum no. A.741-1910
Museum no. A.741-1910
Netsuke depicting Raiden, god of wind, thunder and lightning, amongst clouds with another figure beating a drum. He is usually depicted as a red demon with sharp claws and carrying a large drum..
Netsuke of a daruma, Japan, c.1800. Museum no. A.23-1919
Museum no. A.23-1919
Netsuke in the shape of a daruma. One of the most popular charms in Japan, representing a Buddhist priest called Bodhidharma (Japanese name, Bodai Daruma), who was born in India in the 5th century. He introduced Zen meditation to China. People who meditate fold their legs under them and hold their arms close to the body - this explains why the doll has no arms or legs. The daruma developed its present form about 200 years ago. one of its best loved features is the shape, which makes it bounce back to an upright position after it is pushed over..