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Pipe Holder and Tobacco Box

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Japan Anonymous, Japanese
Pipe Holder and Tobacco Box, n. d.
3 1/2 in. x 2 1/2 in. x 1 1/4 in. (8.89 cm x 6.35 cm x 3.18 cm)

Object Type: Tools
Technique: Woodcarving
Creation Place: Asia, Japan
Credit Line: Gift of Mr. Edward Nagel
Accession Number: 71.1.421

Box: 3.5” x 2.5” x 1.25” Ojime: 0.75” x 0.5” x 0.6” Netsuke (?): 8.5” x 1.25” x 0.6”

Carved and stained wood with polished pearl inlay.

Object Description
Hako netsuke with pipe holder. Figure carved on pipe holder and face carved on (removable) lid with a cord attached through inside of box. Netsuke smooth on bottom.

Depicted on the hako netsuke as well as the pipe holder is Daruma (Sanskrit name Bodhidharma), the patriarch of Zen Buddhism. It was customary to insert the eyes in his face after accomplishments, so it is possible that the owner of this netsuke merely did not complete the second eye. This practice of inserting the eyes in Daruma’s face was thought to bring something alive. On the pipe holder Daruma is depicted with a fly wisk, resulting from Buddhist beliefs about animals and reincarnation.

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