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hidden character?

What subject or legend is depicted in your netsuke or sagemono?
dougsanders
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Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2004 3:05 pm
Location: Bloomington, IN, USA

hidden character?

Postby dougsanders » Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:21 pm

I came across this netsuke today on the Museo Poldi Pezzoli website. They've got a number of well photographed netsuke from the Lanfranchi collection. The artist is listed as Yoshitsugu, inventory 5648. It was acquired in 2005.
fish_bamboo.JPG


The subject matter is obviously fish and bamboo. What intrigued me was that it looks as though the artist cleverly included the character for bamboo, take 竹 within the strips wrapping the package. Do others see this? What do you think? Of course this 'hidden character' concept is well-known in woodblock prints and not unheard of in netsuke.
Last edited by dougsanders on Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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AFNetsuke
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Re: hidden character?

Postby AFNetsuke » Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:49 pm

Doug, I see what you mean. I like this piece. Bamboo is a very resilient plant, bending, swaying, and bouncing back from high winds and other abuses. Isn't the Tai fish a prominent dish served at wedding banquets? This fish is wrapped and ready to take to the event perhaps and the entire composition could be a wish for an enduring marriage if it was given as a gift. Or has my imagination gone awry?
Alan

dougsanders
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Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2004 3:05 pm
Location: Bloomington, IN, USA

Re: hidden character?

Postby dougsanders » Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:00 pm

Thanks Alan- Nice to hear your stream of thought. I've never much been attracted to the hidden, associated meanings of netsuke beyond literal and story-telling functions. I know many of the members on the forum do, however, so your symbolic hypothesis sounds as good as any :)
just interested if others see the calligraphic strokes that I do.

-D

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chonchon
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Re: hidden character?

Postby chonchon » Fri Sep 22, 2017 3:25 pm

Doug, the right part of the character should at least have a left-turning hook at the bottom. Without that hook I feel your reading is delightful poetic imagination.

Tai (sea bream) is a symbol of celebration, good fortune and congratulations, partly because it is a red fish, and the word sounds like part of the word 'Medetai' = celebratory. (Other variations are the forms 'Medetashi' and 'Omedetou gozaimasu!'). Red rice with adzuki beans is a perfect complement. Ideal for a gift, a sea bream wrapped in a bamboo leaf.

Did we not have this discussion recently on this site? The same or a similar Netsuke, surely.
Last edited by chonchon on Fri Sep 22, 2017 3:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Piers

Size is something.

dougsanders
Posts: 120
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2004 3:05 pm
Location: Bloomington, IN, USA

Re: hidden character?

Postby dougsanders » Fri Sep 22, 2017 7:49 pm

chonchon wrote:Doug, the right part of the character should at least have a left-turning hook at the bottom. Without that hook I feel your reading is delightful poetic imagination.



Thanks Piers- that's a very good point!


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