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Earthquake fish by Sadayoshi

Discussions, identification and analysis of the different types of Marine Ivory
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jbjtennyo
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Earthquake fish by Sadayoshi

Postby jbjtennyo » Wed May 11, 2016 8:14 pm

I purchased this netsuke back in 2010, and have just recently taken better images. I have thought it to be from a whale , but after re-reading Martyn's description of different types of marine ivory, I am unsure. I am fairly certain it is marine ivory, but I don't see any circular grain lines at all. This is a small netsuke 3.8 x 2.5 x 1.5cm. It has a lovely patina, the images being pretty close to the correct color. There is one lighter spot on the bottom of the gourd that I think has been textured by the carver. It has a transluscent quality and some mottling of tone, but that is all I see. Does anyone know what this might be?
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Judy

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AFNetsuke
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Re: Earthquake fish by Sadayoshi

Postby AFNetsuke » Wed May 11, 2016 10:52 pm

Judy, it would seem to be whale tooth with that lighter colored area that has been stippled by the carver. Can you get an idea of what its orientation may have been in the raw material? Is there any chance the artist's stippling covered most of the tell-tale inner "crystallized" looking material of a walrus tusk? I don't think so but take a close look.
Rusu Moyo for Kadori (Kashima?) Myojin?
Alan

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jbjtennyo
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Re: Earthquake fish by Sadayoshi

Postby jbjtennyo » Wed May 11, 2016 11:13 pm

There is absolutely no crystallization/ (shaved ice as Piers calls it) on this carving. The white part is smooth in texture and grain, pretty much as it shows in this image. After re-reading Martyns definitions that he attached of the different kinds of marine ivory, thinking it whale, I looked for a circular ring as shown in the illustration, but cannot find one.
Judy

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jbjtennyo
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Re: Earthquake fish by Sadayoshi

Postby jbjtennyo » Thu May 12, 2016 12:06 am

I am sorry Alan, I didn't see this last question. Yes, Originally thought to be alluding to the story of hero Kadori Myojin, but corrected by Alain Ducros to Kashima Myojin in an article he wrote for the INSJ, 31/4. This netsuke is signed by Sadayoshi, who was a carver from Osaka, mid 19C.
I am copying and pasting the abbreviated story below for those who are not familiar with the tale.

The “Namazu” in Japanese legend is a giant catfish that is supposed to live in the mud inside the earth. The fish has a penchant for pranks and must be restrained by the Kashima god, who protects Japan from earthquakes. He does this by keeping the Namazu pinioned under a large rock by means of his divine powers. When the deity relaxes his guard, the Namazu thrashes about impudently, thus causing an earthquake.

The other possible story is linked to an old Japanese saying that I believe Piers told me about. When something is very difficult the Japanese would say something like "That's about as easy as holding at catfish down with a gourd!. Either way you look at it, it is an interesting composition.
Judy

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NetsukeManiac
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Re: Earthquake fish by Sadayoshi

Postby NetsukeManiac » Thu May 12, 2016 1:05 am

xxx
Last edited by NetsukeManiac on Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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chonchon
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Re: Earthquake fish by Sadayoshi

Postby chonchon » Thu May 12, 2016 1:37 am

No, none of the crushed ice crystallization look of walrus, but a sweet Netsuke. It does have that marine/whale tooth feeling, as Alan says above, I agree.
Piers

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