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Any idea what subject this is?

Posted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 10:41 am
by GRHR
Dear Forum,
Below are some photos of a netsuke in my collection that I’ve been trying to research but have had real trouble finding anything similar to determine the story depicted. I thought maybe the main character is an oni having its arm tended to but that doesn’t seem right so any and all thoughts on this greatly appreciated! Also, I’ve tried to decipher the signature and have come up with “Kyu-ichi-shin” from the three kanji but I couldn’t find any carvers with this name. I am very much a novice, so I’ve likely read it wrong, so any advice here as well would be great.
Thanks in advance,
Giles
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Re: Any idea what subject this is?

Posted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:14 am
by GRHR
Ok, typical, you spend hours searching and find nothing then ten minutes after you post you get a lead...I've just seen a netsuke of Nio that looks similar - could this possibly be a depiction of Nio? Could the woman be Kannon?

Re: Any idea what subject this is?

Posted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:22 am
by chonchon
If he is Fuujin 風神 then maybe the Tennyo 天女 is giving him a welcome massage? :)

Re: Any idea what subject this is?

Posted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 3:07 pm
by AFNetsuke
Could that be the hat of Emma-O? Perhaps he has a sore shoulder from whipping dead souls.

Re: Any idea what subject this is?

Posted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 4:56 pm
by tanukisan
He looks very like a Nio Buddhist protector being massaged by a sympathetic tennyo - a servant and courtesan of the emperor in heaven.

Re: Any idea what subject this is?

Posted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 7:58 am
by GRHR
Many thanks Piers, Alan and John for your thoughts – I hadn’t heard of Tennins and Tennyos before and having now looked at a few I think she is definitely a Tennyo. I spent last night looking up Fuujin, Emma-O and Nio and having seen the okimono below, of Nio with a Tennyo that has so many similarities, I agree with John that it’s a lucky Nio being given a massage by an obliging Tennyo – perhaps he’s had a hard day beating away some Buddhist hecklers and needs a good rub!
Nio and Tennyo 2.jpg
Nio and Tennyo.jpg

Re: Any idea what subject this is?

Posted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 9:08 am
by KPR
Interesting for me to see this okimono and compare it to mine.
At 8.8 cm a relatively small size. Carved by Tomomasa who also made many Netsuke.
oki3-004.jpg

Re: Any idea what subject this is?

Posted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 7:24 pm
by GRHR
Hi Klaus, I can definitely see similarities in the two pieces and it looks like the one I’ve pictured is a poor copy of your one. It's like comparing a Hershey Bar and a Belgian Chocolate - they are both technically chocolate, but one is so much superior to the other that it's almost criminal to describe them under the same term! Your okimono is stunning - I'm very jealous! :)