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Deer/Monkey embrace - More than a symbiotic relationship?

What subject or legend is depicted in your netsuke or sagemono?
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souldeep
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Deer/Monkey embrace - More than a symbiotic relationship?

Postby souldeep » Sun Feb 12, 2017 1:43 pm

Hi,

I found this rather bizarre hybrid recently. It's 3/4 Manju, 1/4 Katabori. It stands and appears to be, at youngest, early 19th.
DSCF1603.jpg

DSCF1607.jpg

DSCF1619.jpg

DSCF1613.jpg

I have no idea which hand to place it - but I do note similarities in this monkey, with those early monkey manju's we see in embrace.

Historically, the symbiotic relationship between monkeys and silky deer in certain parts of Japan appears to be well documented. The deer eating fruits, dropped from the trees, by the monkey. The monkeys grooming the deer, occasionally riding on their backs.

What do the monkeys get in return? More recently, evidence of something a bit odd has been caught on film. Video here if you are interested ( https://www.theguardian.com/science/201 ... ies-mating )

So the reason(s) for this post;

  1. Do any of you have Netsuke showing the deer and monkey together? If so would you be willing to share them here.

  2. I would be surprised if this Netsuke is carved to represent the symbiotic relationship. Can anyone shed light on any legends, or alternative meanings, that show a monkey and deer embraced?

Any ideas, photos or answers appreciated. Thanks :)
Piglet: "Pooh?" Pooh: "Yes, Piglet?" Piglet: "I've been thinking..." Pooh: "That's a very good habit to get into to, Piglet." - A.A. Milne.

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Vlad
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Re: Deer/Monkey embrace - More than a symbiotic relationship?

Postby Vlad » Sun Feb 12, 2017 3:02 pm

That's an interesting find indeed, Martyn! I have never seen a subject like this before. The monkey does remind me of the famous dated much older circular pieces. The pictures do not offer a good feel for its age. Did you do the photographing yourself? Can it be done less artistically and more realistically on a neutral background? Most interesting!
"Man sieht nur, was man weiß" - "One sees only what one knows". Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

carlomagno
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Re: Deer/Monkey embrace - More than a symbiotic relationship?

Postby carlomagno » Sun Feb 12, 2017 3:43 pm

Ffffffffffff! If not sexual intercourse interpretation which looks like the most closest after seeing the video, it could be the monkey helping the deer in some way. At the first glance thought the deer was dead but is still munching a branch, do not know, can be injured? Any sign on the back? There has to be a legend on it.
Nec spe nec metu

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souldeep
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Re: Deer/Monkey embrace - More than a symbiotic relationship?

Postby souldeep » Sun Feb 12, 2017 4:28 pm

Thanks Vlad/JC.

Unfortunately I have a new camera. I have recently found out that I need to buy a macro lens. I only have a zoom lens and a 35mm. This was taken with the 35mm. It's a learning curve. I need to closer, and close down the aperture a bit. It's whiter in the photos than in hand... But not by so much. Oh and yes, I wish I still had the old camera but I part exchanged :roll:

Lol JC... Yes I should have given an x-rated warning with the video :lol:
Piglet: "Pooh?" Pooh: "Yes, Piglet?" Piglet: "I've been thinking..." Pooh: "That's a very good habit to get into to, Piglet." - A.A. Milne.

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tanukisan
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Re: Deer/Monkey embrace - More than a symbiotic relationship?

Postby tanukisan » Sun Feb 12, 2017 4:37 pm

To me this looks like a parody on 2 grappling human sumo wrestlers which usually features 2 monkeys rather than a deer and a monkey.

John 


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souldeep
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Re: Deer/Monkey embrace - More than a symbiotic relationship?

Postby souldeep » Sun Feb 12, 2017 5:14 pm

When I think about it, you may be on the right lines JC. The monkey usually dropping fruits for the deer in real life. Here it's like he's bunking him up on a branch to eat. Interesting observation. Thanks :x

Thanks John. Plausible.. But why the monkey and deer in this case?
Piglet: "Pooh?" Pooh: "Yes, Piglet?" Piglet: "I've been thinking..." Pooh: "That's a very good habit to get into to, Piglet." - A.A. Milne.

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chonchon
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Re: Deer/Monkey embrace - More than a symbiotic relationship?

Postby chonchon » Sun Feb 12, 2017 5:44 pm

Very interesting old Manju/Katabori hybrid, Martyn.

Here is a link which I sense is right up your street.
In Japanese, but will give an outline when I get a minute.
It concerns a restaurant called Momonji-Ya outside the city of Edo where people could go and eat innocent-sounding meals like 'Botan Nabe' (peony flower dish, = thin slices of boar meat arranged artistically like a flower) which were actually animals shot by hunters, normally forbidden by Buddhism. Principally deer and monkey meat! (Also boar, dog, wolf, fox, tanuki racoon dog, cow and horse.)

Mountain whale, momiji (maple), koyo (autumn colors =deer) were some of the dishes' names.
https://ja.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/ももんじ屋

Incidentally the restaurant is called Momonjiya, which contains the word Momo for peach, but also the word crude defiling or disgusting 'momomjii' used to refer to forbidden meat from furry creatures.
Last edited by chonchon on Sun Feb 12, 2017 5:54 pm, edited 4 times in total.
Piers

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souldeep
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Re: Deer/Monkey embrace - More than a symbiotic relationship?

Postby souldeep » Sun Feb 12, 2017 5:47 pm

Interesting my friend, I sense you are into something. The page is in hiragana... Which whilst I can pronounce phonetically, I have no clue what it means. I'll await your sharp intuitions and tutorship :)
Piglet: "Pooh?" Pooh: "Yes, Piglet?" Piglet: "I've been thinking..." Pooh: "That's a very good habit to get into to, Piglet." - A.A. Milne.

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souldeep
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Re: Deer/Monkey embrace - More than a symbiotic relationship?

Postby souldeep » Sun Feb 12, 2017 6:50 pm

chonchon wrote:Incidentally the restaurant is called Momonjiya, which contains the word Momo for peach, but also the word crude defiling or disgusting 'momomjii' used to refer to forbidden meat from furry creatures.

Ahh.. You edited after I posted. I was perhaps, a bit to quick off the mark with my reply. A good theory on its symbolism. Thanks :)
Piglet: "Pooh?" Pooh: "Yes, Piglet?" Piglet: "I've been thinking..." Pooh: "That's a very good habit to get into to, Piglet." - A.A. Milne.

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chonchon
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Re: Deer/Monkey embrace - More than a symbiotic relationship?

Postby chonchon » Sun Feb 12, 2017 9:59 pm

This sentence says that such establishments were generally known as Yakugui (Medicine eateries), in order to cover up the eating of meats there.
表向きは肉食忌避があったから、これらを「薬喰い」と呼んだ。
Piers

Size is something.


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