CARP AMONG THE LOTUS LEAVES
Ryusa netsuke "Carp under the lotus leaves preparing to jump" with ojimi in the style of Shishiabori. The ryusa is made from a piece of mammoth tusk, 5.2 cm in diameter (2 inches) and 1.25 cm thick (1/2 inch), tinted with Yashabushi, burned with a needle, mother-of-pearl for inlays. 2023. 鯉の滝登り - Koi no takinobori - a carp that ascends the waterfall through the Dragon Gate and after swimming up the Yellow River, turns into a dragon. It is a symbol of significant success. Therefore, this fish is called the king of all fish, it is considered a symbol of power and superiority. And also the carp symbolizes the desire for ambitious goals and serves as an example of success achieved through overcoming difficulties and obstacles. In the Buddhist tradition, carp means fearlessness and courage. And since carps can live up to 200 years, they also symbolize longevity. In May of each year, colorful rag carps are put on display in Japan to celebrate the traditional tango no sekku (Boys' Day), and cloth carps flutter all over Japan, a symbol of wishing boys to be strong and successful. "Koi-nobori" symbolizes the wish for boys to grow up into beautiful men and easily overcome all difficulties. The length of the carp depends on the age of the children, the largest symbolizes the head of the family. 2023. Available for purchase.
Initially, foxes were the messengers (tsukai) of the goddess Inari, but now the difference between them is so blurred that Inari herself is sometimes depicted as a fox. Initially, foxes were the messengers (tsukai) of the goddess Inari, but now the difference between them is so blurred that Inari herself is sometimes depicted as a fox. In Japanese folklore, foxes have great knowledge, long life, and magical powers. Chief among them is the ability to take the form of a human being; the fox, according to legend, learns to do this after reaching a certain age. Kitsune usually take the form of a seductive beauty, a pretty young girl, but sometimes turn into men. This fox mask will come in handy to transform into a fox. The mask is carved from mammoth bean, Japanese Urushi lacquer, silver Nashiji glitters, black Urushi, cord. 2023
KITSUNE WITH 5 TAILS
Kitsune are believed to possess superior intelligence, long life, and magical powers. They are a type of yōkai. The word kitsune is sometimes translated as 'fox spirit', which is actually a broader folkloric category. This does not mean that kitsune are ghosts, nor that they are fundamentally different from regular foxes. Because the word spirit is used to reflect a state of knowledge or enlightenment, all long-lived foxes were believed to gain supernatural abilities. Shishiaibori Manju netsuke "Kitsune with 5 tails" was carved from mammoth tusk, 6.5 cm across, 2 cm thick. 2023
In Japan, there are many miracles, myths, dragons, werewolves, legends... Female ninjas are a very mysterious phenomenon, there are many rumors, admiration, they were adored and avoided. Often Kunoichi tried on the image of a geisha or a servant girl. Possessing feline flexibility and agility, the ability to climb a wall with iron claws and the ability to obtain secret information. The more I read about Kunoichi, the more this image merged with the image of a cat. Cats in Japan are covered with many legends and names. From cute pets to bloodthirsty demons: Nekomata (猫又/猫股), Kasha (火車/化車), Gotoku-neko (五徳猫) and Kaibyo (怪猫). In the Kabuki theater, they put on plays about cats, they can be combined under the name "Cat Trouble". In The Illustrated Book of a Hundred Demons (Hyakkai Zukan, 百怪図巻, 1737) by Sawaki Sushi, there is a picture of a nekomata that takes the form of a girl playing the shamisen. It is Kaibyo (怪猫) that I will focus on, this is the spirit of a cat that drank the blood of its owner during its lifetime, who was unjustly killed or committed suicide. This spirit can take on the human form of the one whose blood it drinks. He takes revenge on the offenders, bringing confusion and controls their will. Kunoichi often risked her life, which is why I united in one idea with Kaibyo. Cats often took on the form of elegant graceful women, geisha were the epitome of feline beauty, let's not forget about samisen (it was made using cat skin). 2023. Belgium, the private collection.
If You look at the full Moon - Chushu no meigetsu, You can see the silhouette of a rabbit pounding in a mortar either the powder of immortality, or rice - the source of life, but the rabbit turned out to be on the Moon for his self-sacrifice for the Buddha. The rabbit is also known for its good disposition, intelligence and ingenuity, quick legs, and also courage, which is probably why the Silver Gate on the Moon is also guarded by rabbits. My version of the gatekeeper is a white rabbit in armor like a samurai. In other words, this is a story about a Japanese rabbit guarding a bag with a pot, in which either the powder of immortality, or rice. This rabbit is made from a piece of mammoth tusk, the armor is covered with Urushi lacquers, gold and silver powder, the eyes are inlaid, the height of the rabbit is 5.1 cm, ojime is 2.5 cm, hand-woven cord. 2023. Belgium, the private collection.
In Japan, the raven is called Karasu. This beautiful black bird was often depicted in engravings, poems were dedicated to it, myths and legends were invented. The Ainu considered the raven a deity and identifying with the snake, calling it the "black snake", they believed that these birds could affect luck in fishing and human life in general. The Ainu have a legend that a raven saved the sun that had been swallowed by an evil spirit. The most famous raven in Japanese culture is the giant Yatagarasu, sent from heaven by the sun goddess Amaterasu to lead the legendary Emperor Jimmu, on his campaign to found Japan, through the mountain passes from Kumano to Yamato. Manju netsuke is carved from black ebony wood, burned with a needle, dark amber inlay on gold foil, Japanese Urushi varnishes. 5.2 cm in diameter. 2023 Available for purchase.