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Chon's Reflections

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onimh
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Re: Chon's Reflections

Postby onimh » Mon May 29, 2017 1:26 pm

[quote="chonchon"]Today I went to see the local bone-shaker to get my back and neck sorted out. His wife appeared afterwards and said she had heard that I was interested in Netsuke. She pulled out three on a string and said they were left by her husband's late father. One was a bobbly natural stone with a hole in it, overall roughly in the shape of a Mokugyo, so that was easy. Probably picked it up on a walk somewhere.

Wonderful story!
This is approaching what I would call meaningful provenance. Had a trail back to yet another generation or better yet even further (her husband's late father, who inherited it from his grandfather who knew, or was a relative of, Tanaka Minko)....that would be ideal provenance and, perhaps, too much to wish for.
Thank you for sharing!

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chonchon
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Re: Chon's Reflections

Postby chonchon » Mon May 29, 2017 2:48 pm

LOL, yes, I wonder. Will definitely broach the subject.

PS The Tanuki was the same one as your avatar, John (Tanukusan)!
Piers

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chonchon
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Re: Chon's Reflections

Postby chonchon » Sun Jun 18, 2017 12:13 pm

Today a funny thing happened at the Farmers' Market. There was a book on Mon/Kamon, Japanese family crests, that I did not have in my library. I asked the price and it was cheap, so into the shopping bag it went. When I got home and opened it to the first page, this is what I saw, a snowflake Mon! And it is in the design of the piece of panbone on p4 of this thread! (one 'petal' less, though.) In other words, regardless of the material and use of the object it is a traditional Japanese Mon design.

At the time I figured it was for a fishing net and maybe not a Netsuke, so, free of any guilt I sawed it up and used it to repair the inlay on an old gun...

Chapter One. Nature. Snow. .... stars were traditionally expressed as polka dots, and snow was rendered as a flower.

IMG_6170.JPG
Piers

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chonchon
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Re: Chon's Reflections

Postby chonchon » Mon Jul 10, 2017 12:09 pm

Yesterday eleven of us went on a 14-hour round-trip to a newly opened museum in Hagi City, an old castle town in Yamaguchi Prefecture down near the S.W. tip of Honshu. We went in two cars and seven drivers took turns driving in revolving 2-hour stints.

The curator of the Meirinkan Gakusha, (old Hagi Domain School) who also donated his own collection to make up the backbone of the display rooms, came out to greet us. Old friends. He showed us around 'his' eight rooms of artifacts/artefacts. There was everything you could imagine from the end of Edo, his area of speciality, and in the last two rooms enough guns and cannon to equip a ship of the line.

Sunday, and the place was fairly popular. An usher at the door insisted on speaking English with me. Before we started I asked if photos would be permitted. Mr Ogawa looked anguished but answered firmly in the negative. Over lunch I asked if there was a booklet for sale. "Not yet", he murmured apologetically. There is a movement among museums in Japan to allow shots with a smart phone, but not with a proper camera, so I informed him of that too, in case he did not know, but gently of course. Actually I love this old guy and told him I would not take any shots. I also assured him that as soon as I got home I would advertise this place abroad for him. He looked pleased. I left a congratulatory message in the visitors' book.

Imagine my surprise after two rooms of medical equipment, astronomical instruments and maps etc., when I heard him mention "Netsuke" as he spoke about his mechanical jizai room. I rushed to the central glass case to see what all was on offer under the gloomy lighting.

One Netsuke was a live turtle inside a sealed glass ball Netsuke. The slightest vibration caused the four legs to wobble like a terrapin. The other was the smallest wind-up boat and tiny key you ever saw, with the long rear oar paddling it across a glass surface. Karakuri Yakata-bune it said. The video screen demonstrated it in use.

Question. What would you do in the circumstances?
Piers

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AFNetsuke
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Re: Chon's Reflections

Postby AFNetsuke » Mon Jul 10, 2017 8:47 pm

Piers, good mystery solving on the panbone piece. My guesses as to what it is (was) were way off track.
On your museum visit question: are you saying the museum director was calling these small mechanical objects netsuke?
Alan

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chonchon
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Re: Chon's Reflections

Postby chonchon » Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:24 pm

Yes, Alan. The glass ball had a string attached to it from behind somehow. The little wind-up boat sat inside a bespoke lacquered wooden Netsuke which opened like a nut.
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souldeep
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Re: Chon's Reflections

Postby souldeep » Tue Jul 11, 2017 3:39 pm

chonchon wrote:Question. What would you do in the circumstances?

Video. The rules only said no photos.
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: Chon's Reflections

Postby chonchon » Wed Jul 12, 2017 1:02 am

Martyn. :P
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chonchon
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Re: Chon's Reflections

Postby chonchon » Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:11 pm

From one extreme to another. A new world record! :D

On Sunday (yesterday) I was at the local antiques fair and from a bowl of bits I fished out a genuine old boxwood ratcatcher Netsuke; the dealer wanted 100 JPY, or .89c US at today's rate. Well, I could have bargained and knocked her down, but what the hell, I am a generous person, and I have never owned a ratcatcher, so I paid the full whack.

I guess if someone gives you a Netsuke outright then that would beat this deal, but for actual monetary price paid this could be a winner. ;) There is a small problem, however, which accounts for the price. Any guesses?
Piers

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jbjtennyo
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Re: Chon's Reflections

Postby jbjtennyo » Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:26 pm

I guess I would think it is broken or missing a part--like the rat catchers head! Or perhaps someone turned it into a door knob or dresser pull? Something awful I would assume to warrant that ridiculous price :!: !!
Judy


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