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Is this a rakan or a Sennin?

What subject or legend is depicted in your netsuke or sagemono?
wevege
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Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:39 pm
Location: Antwerp, Belgium

Is this a rakan or a Sennin?

Postby wevege » Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:56 pm

I cannot find who this might be. Is it anyone I should know?
Thanks,
Walter.
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Last edited by Oishii on Fri Apr 13, 2018 3:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Dear Walter, welcome to the Lounge . We rotated your pictures to make viewing easier for our members. Best !

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souldeep
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Re: Is this a rakan or a Sennin?

Postby souldeep » Fri Apr 13, 2018 3:16 pm

Hi and welcome to the forum Walter.

IMO this is neither rakan or sennin. In other similar examples some debate exists around the exact subject on whether it is kobo daishi, priest, monk, rakan or holy man. Sennin is definitely discounted.

It's Edo school work.

Have you been collecting long?
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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AFNetsuke
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Re: Is this a rakan or a Sennin?

Postby AFNetsuke » Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:38 pm

This is really quite a fabulous old netsuke in my opinion. The little emaciated figure at climbing up his side is reminiscent of a gaki.
Alan

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lisa holton
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Re: Is this a rakan or a Sennin?

Postby lisa holton » Fri Apr 13, 2018 6:07 pm

Welcome Walter great to have you here!

I'm still learning myself so I'll be enjoying feedback on this one.... what I do know for sure is that it's a real beauty!!!
The wisdom humanity seeks lies within the consciousness of all human beings, trapped and held
prisoner by their own person minds - Sydney Banks (The Missing Link)

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chonchon
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Re: Is this a rakan or a Sennin?

Postby chonchon » Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:46 pm

Craggy facial features and general starved feeling point me towards Rakan (Arhat). The beads also point that way, indicating someone on the path to enlightenment, not yet attained. They seem to go back to India and Buddhism, lower level disciples of the Buddha, some coming from very rough or unsavoury backgrounds.

Sennin on the other hand, refer back to Chinese sages, mixing with local Chinese legends, often connected more with Taoism. Problems occur when you get crossovers in the mind of the artist, which is not uncommon.
Piers

Size is something.

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chonchon
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Re: Is this a rakan or a Sennin?

Postby chonchon » Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:51 pm

PS The little figure at his side reminds me of the old debate (my oriental religion books are covered in dust) of what to do if someone clings to you hoping for a free ride to heaven. Do you try to save others, or do you cut them loose and devote yourself single-mindedly, (whole-heartedly) towards your own salvation? Arhats (Rakan) were the latter, at least for some period in their legendary history.
Last edited by chonchon on Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Piers

Size is something.

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AFNetsuke
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Re: Is this a rakan or a Sennin?

Postby AFNetsuke » Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:42 am

Excellent thoughts on this subject Piers! Thanks.
Alan

wevege
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Re: Is this a rakan or a Sennin?

Postby wevege » Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:41 pm

Dear friends, thanks for your warm welcome and expert opinions. In the meantime I myself did some further research and ended up by a very similar piece in the Bushell-collection: "familiar and unfamiliar netsuke", p. 104, nr. 84.
Many thanks and best regards,
Walter.

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Oishii
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Re: Is this a rakan or a Sennin?

Postby Oishii » Sat Apr 14, 2018 1:02 pm

wevege wrote:Dear friends, thanks for your warm welcome and expert opinions. In the meantime I myself did some further research and ended up by a very similar piece in the Bushell-collection: "familiar and unfamiliar netsuke", p. 104, nr. 84.
Many thanks and best regards,
Walter.

You're welcome here, Walter !

Great, thank you for sharing this similar piece : a good find ! You seem to have already a collector's library ?

to further the discussion and comparison of these old pieces with a buddhist flavour, we would like to share the image from that book and the description :

"84. Struggle of good and evil. Wood. Unsigned. Ex Walter Behrens Collection (Plate 9, No. 414). Ex Hindson Collection. The rakan strives to raise the rosary while the devil strives to bring it down. The netsuke symbolises the difficulty pf treading the razor's edge of the Way, of overcoming distractions and temptations - the fetters on the arms (tekase) and the shackles on the legs (ashikase). "
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Last edited by Oishii on Sat Apr 14, 2018 1:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Jan

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souldeep
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Re: Is this a rakan or a Sennin?

Postby souldeep » Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:24 am

wevege wrote:Dear friends, thanks for your warm welcome and expert opinions. In the meantime I myself did some further research and ended up by a very similar piece in the Bushell-collection: "familiar and unfamiliar netsuke", p. 104, nr. 84.
Many thanks and best regards,
Walter.

Dear Walter - you seem already well versed in library references. I sense an experienced collector.

I'd love to know more about how long you have been collecting netsuke, and maybe you'd be willing to share of examples from your collection?
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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