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Inro Ensemble with matching Manju Netsuke

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Japan Anonymous, Japanese
Inro Ensemble with matching Manju Netsuke, mid/late 19th c.
3 1/4 in. x 2 1/2 in. x 1 1/4 in. (8.26 cm x 6.35 cm x 3.18 cm)

Object Type: Decorative Arts
Technique: Lacquered
Creation Place: Asia, Japan
Credit Line: Gift of Mr. Edward Nagel
Accession Number: 71.1.419

Inro: 3.25” x 2.5” x 1.25” Ojime: 0.5” x 0.5” x 0.5” Netsuke: 1.5” x 2” x 1.2”

No marks.

Wood with carved lacquer with mother of pearl and tortoise-shell inlay, amber ojime with suspended insect, silk cord, carved and painted wood. Carved lacquer “makie” method (sprinkling of powdered gold on freshly carved surface).

Object Description
Elaborate 3-tiered (dan) inro with Kinko Sennin on a giant red carp in waves bas-relief and crackled gold background. Jade bubbles inlaid in carved lacquer ocean waves, amber ojime with suspended insect, shell majnu netsuke (early 19th c.) with crayfish and oyster images painted gold.
Depicted on this inro is Kinko Sennin (Ch. Qin Gao), a Chinese immortal whose virtuous conduct won him passage to the realm of the Dragon King, where he learned many esoteric secrets. He emerges from the sea on the back of a giant red carp, with a scroll of knowledge in his hands. Matching the ocean theme of the inro is the accompanying manju netsuke with shellfish depicted in lacquer on a shell. The strength of the carp is symbolic in Japan for Boys’ Day (the fifth day of the fifth month) (Goodall, 297) The shellfish depicted on the clam shell of the manju netsuke is a prawn, representing longevity through its curved form, thought to be similar to that of an elderly person.

Additional Images Click an image to view a larger version
Additional Image Inro Side 1 with netsuke
Inro Side 1 with netsuke
Additional Image Inro Side 2 with netsuke
Inro Side 2 with netsuke
Additional Image Opened Inro Interior Side 2
Opened Inro Interior Side 2
Additional Image Opened Inro Side 2
Opened Inro Side 2

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