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Inro Ensemble with Katabori Netsuke

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Japan Anonymous, Japanese
Inro Ensemble with Katabori Netsuke, early 19th c.
3 1/2 in. x 2 in. x 1 1/4 in. (8.89 cm x 5.08 cm x 3.18 cm)

Object Type: Decorative Arts
Technique: Lacquered
Creation Place: Asia, Japan
Credit Line: Gift of Mr. Edward Nagel
Accession Number: 71.1.410

Inro: 3.5” x 2” x 1.25” Ojime: 0.6” x 0.6” x 0.4” Netsuke: 1.5” x 1.2” x 0.8”

Inro signed: "Koma Koryu saku"
Netsuke signed: "Hisanao"

Lacquered wood and carved ivory.

Object Description
4-tiered inro depicting Agyo, one of two Nio Buddhist guardian figures; pine tree with birds on opposing side. Matching carved lacquer ojime with figures as well as food and floral imagery, ivory katabori netsuke (late 18th c.) with sad long-haired seated sage.

Agyo is a guardian of Buddhist temples, and he is typically depicted in the form of a statue. His name comes from a ritual protective sound emitted in Buddhist ceremony. Hence, the depiction of Agyo on this inro would have been thought to protect the wearer of the ensemble. The combination of Agyo with the sage in this inro ensemble would symbolically provide the wearer with wisdom and protection.

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