A Japanese antique Hirado Porcelain Ornament or Figurine of a Daikoku 大黒, and a rare find. It does not have the himotoshi some while technically not a netsuke, the word netsuke is also used for small ornaments by folks in Japan. And, it is just a little larger than most netsuke. He is handmade and painted porcelain piece with great detail. Painted in underglaze blue or sometsuke and overglaze enamels, he is shown holding his mallet, is westernized with wrinkled white pants and appears to be wearing a work apron. His brown hat set just right on head, and down to each little detail of his clothing. He may have been special made for someone as he is quite a unique character. It may be that someone later decorated him with gold gilt and feather markings all over, or that someone in Nagasaki just decided to do this one day. The lines in his hat are not cracks, there are no cracks or chips anywhere. They are glaze cracks which we often see in these small pieces. It is not signed. Original source UK Auction. I just read an excerpt out of an old netsuke book now I know this could be nothing else but Hirado, blue, white and brown being a more rare color. We have several other Hirado netsukes to be posted soon!
SIZE: Height 1 7/8" or 4.76 cm
The Story of Daikoku
The Daikoku is frequently depicted in Japanese art carrying the hammer or sometimes a knife. There are many stories on the internet and following are excerpts from a trusted source. The origin is India. Daikokuten 大黒天 literally means Great Black Deva and depending on the Shinto Association can be called a variation of the name as mentioned.
Daikoku is the God of Earth, Agriculture, Rice, Farmers, the Kitchen, & Wealth. One of Japan's Seven Lucky Gods, he is associated with the virtue of fortune. I am hoping by posting this he will send some my way. Daikokuten or Daikokuis widely known in Japan as the happy-looking god of wealth, farmers, food, and good fortune, although in earlier centuries he was considered a fierce warrior deity. The oldest extant image of Daikokuten in Japan is dated to the late Heian period (794-1185) and installed at Kanzeonji Temple of the Fukuoka prefecture. The statue depicts the deity with a fierce expression, reminding us of his Hindu origin as a war god, as does the late-Heian sculpture of Daikoku at Kongōrinji Temple of the Shiga prefecture, which shows him dressed in armor.
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