This is a very lovely netsuke of an antique painted wooden netsuke is of a Chôkarô 'sennin' carrying a gourd, tied to it is a Coral ojime with a nice cord. Both the netsuke and the coral ojime are very finely carved with great detail. This comes from the estate of a great collector where we were fortunate to have collected a few other netsuke. The owner wrote a description on a card, which reminded me of how my mother used to keep her recipes. It says, An upright man with a miter hat, carrying a large gourd over his right shoulder. He is clad in a green robe. The hat, sash, and shoes are painted orange to match the coral. The lining of the robe is also this color. The ojime is a small melon shaped coral ojime. The ojime is faceted in a very detailed manner. We will of course, keep this card with the netsuke. The paint is still rich in color although there is some age wear. There are no cracks or chips. Both the netsuke and ojime are in excellent condition. There is some minor age wear to the surface. We believe this netsuke dates to the Meiji period 1868-1912, or perhaps earlier. The Chôkarô 'sennin does stand upright by himself. It is not signed.
SIZE: Height 1 1/2" or 3.81 cms, Width 3/4" or 1.9 cms
Please see our many other netsuke all over the store in different categories, by different makers, materials, ages, sizes, motif and color. Probably the easiest way to find them all at once is to search 'Netsuke; in the top center search field of the page, if one uses the box on the right you might end up in another store! More faces our found in okimono, suiteki for calligraphy water droppers and other Japanese items.
A story about Chokaro: Tsuba with the Mule of the Taoist Immortal Chokaro Emerging from a Magic Gourd
The horse at the upper left of this tsuba is emerging from the gourd at the lower right. This is an illustration of the idiom "like a horse coming out of a gourd," which is used to describe unexpected things. The saying may have developed from stories of the Chinese immortal Chokaro or Chang Kuo who carried his magical mule in a gourd. On the reverse, the phrase Ningen banji is inscribed along the upper and left sections. These are the first words of the proverb Human affairs are like Saio's horse.
This proverb means that things which may appear to be good fortune can sometimes be bad luck and visa versa. It comes from a story about an old man named Saio who had good luck and bad luck brought to him through incidents with his horse. . Please see the rest of the story, shared by Dr. Gabi Greve, you can search her blogspot with the title. The link to her page is in our Favorites Links on our homepage, titled Daruma San in Japan, Japanese Art and Culture. It is full and rich with information and lovely stories like this, and more... There are many good sources of information about netsuke online and in books. Please see the link to Netsuke International on our home page. It is a good source of information for different types and ages of netsukes.
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