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Which Sennin is this?

What subject or legend is depicted in your netsuke or sagemono?
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Which Sennin is this?

Postby Thomas1 » Sat Aug 12, 2017 2:27 pm

There have been a few active discussions on Sennin lately so I thought I would post this Sennin and ask which one you think he is. He seems to be holding a crane or maybe dragon foot? I can't figure it out. Any thoughts?

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Re: Which Sennin is this?

Postby Oishii » Sat Aug 12, 2017 3:33 pm

Hi Thomas,

thank you for your post of this wood piece.

A similar netsuke was discussed on the Forum some time ago, but that one was a ceramic piece.
Opinions were divided on what the figure represents, but surely he is holding a bird's (crane ?) claw.
You may find the thread here : (please read till the end to find the answer you are looking for ;-)
Last edited by Oishii on Sat Aug 12, 2017 3:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Which Sennin is this?

Postby onimh » Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:00 pm

Sorry-I only just saw this post. The sennin is Tsuru.
This was my last purchase of 2017 but I haven't received it yet.
Last edited by onimh on Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Which Sennin is this?

Postby carlomagno » Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:30 pm

Do you guys have any history/description of Tsuru Sennin? I try google but only get that crazy dragon ball cartoon
Last edited by carlomagno on Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Nec spe nec metu

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Re: Which Sennin is this?

Postby chonchon » Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:18 am

Pages 25 and 26 about 2/3 down this page, show Tsuru Sennin and Kame Sennin. The crane and turtle were symbols of longevity, so maybe they took Sennin form at some time?
Although they have been heavily used in Anime, their origins are not clear and I can find very little on the J web.
There is a nice bronze sculpture here:

Size is something.

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Re: Which Sennin is this?

Postby onimh » Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:38 am

This is more than I've ever found.
Thank you.

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Re: Which Sennin is this?

Postby tanukisan » Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:55 am

Tsuru simply means crane or stork.

Seated on a stork, Choshikwa (Chinese, Chang Chih-ho) flew to heaven - 'a stork descended from heaven and on its back Choshikwa went the way of all sennin'

Josakei (Chinese Hsu Tso-ch'ing) was an 8th Century sennin who could change into a stork.

Jofuku ( Chinese Hsu Fu) searched for a medicine against death. He is sometimes depicted flying on the back of a stork.

The sennin Kohaku is depicted with a book and a stork.

Teireji ( Chinese Ting Ling-wei) lived in the mountains and after one thousand years changed himself into a stork and flew to heaven.

I cannot find any reference to a sennin having any use for a stork or a crane's leg, as opposed to the whole living animal, not even in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). I can only conclude that it alludes to a sennin who can tranform into a crane/stork and hence he grips a tsuru leg in his hand.
Last edited by tanukisan on Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:58 am, edited 1 time in total.


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