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Mitate in netsuke

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Re: Mitate in netsuke

Postby DSW90049 » Tue Nov 22, 2016 3:17 pm

Jan, thank you. Forvo is an excellent resource for pronunciation.
Use it to hear correct pronunciation of Japanese words and phrases by native speakers!
Highly recommended!
"There is no shortcut to netsuke collecting; it takes time, study and patience. The market is flooded with utterly worthless rubbish. . . . "
Netsukes: Their Makers, Use and Meaning, H. Seymour Trower(1898)~~~~David

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Re: Mitate in netsuke

Postby lohrberg » Thu Jul 06, 2017 4:40 pm

jbjtennyo wrote: I thought it important we examine the idea of mitate at the same time. Mitate in Japanese philosophy is a perspective of seeing a subject in a new light or "seeing with new eyes", meaning simply to see one thing as something else-- sort of a parody. This is not meant to harm or insult, but to enlighten and sometimes in a humorous but not offensive way. I found the description below to be helpful in understanding the philosophy behind this art form.
"MITATE has been a fundamental concept in all Japanese art from the earliest time. Basically, MITATE involves a substitution of the intended subject by something simpler and vaguer. For example, the austere stones and raked sand of the Japanese garden are specifically designed to suggest a range of meaning, from islands an a sea, to tigers crossing a stream, to the solitude of human lives in the infinite. The breadth of possible meanings and the scope for free association permitted to the viewer are the benefits of MITATE."

Concerning MITATE

The best explanation of Mitate gave Masanori Watanabe in a New York Convention lecture some time ago. It was also published in an INSJournal afterwards. Sometimes mitate is obvious and jumps to the eye of the observer, sometimes it is hidden and sometimes there might be arguing if it is mitate at all.

In the Lemperts auction during the Cologne Convention they offered lot 669. The catalogue said:

An Ivory netsuke of seven monkeys in a boat, with a mast and sail lying across the boat, at the bow two rolled-up straw mats

The cataloguer did not say anything about the allegory, which stands behind the netsuke. A rather obvious mitate of the Seven Lucky Gods in a Boat. Who of the single monkeys is who? I mean who is Daikoku, Ebisu, Hotei, Jurojin, Fukurukuju, Benten or Bishamon? I do not know,


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Re: Mitate in netsuke

Postby chonchon » Fri Jul 07, 2017 1:30 am

Reinhard, I love that Netsuke! As to which monkey is which of the 7 lucky gods, I do not think it really mattered. The idea of monkeys sitting composed in a boat and sailing along is surely amusing enough on its own, with the lucky aspect merely gently suggested. (Unless you can find that a particular lucky god was always at the helm or prow, or that there was some pecking order among the gods.) :)

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Re: Mitate in netsuke

Postby tanukisan » Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:54 am

Ideally the carving would depict -
Fukurokuju – the monkey with the biggest head
Jurojin – the monkey holding a scroll
Ebisu – the monkey fishing
Daikoku – the monkey resting on the rice matting
Hotei – the monkey with the biggest belly
Bishamon – the monkey holding a miniature pagoda
Benten – the only female monkey shown in the group

It reminds me of Snow White's seven dwarves - the good news - only one in seven is grumpy!
The bad news - only one in seven is happy!


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Modern example usage of mitate

Postby chonchon » Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:42 am

The description says スイカをドレスに見立て (Suika wo doresu ni mitate) = Turning a watermelon into (a) dress(es). Mitateru = making it look like... . ... n.view-002

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Re: Mitate in netsuke

Postby Tama » Wed Aug 30, 2017 9:43 am

I have a Kinko on a duck boat. A mitate in that it is usually a carp that the kinko is seen riding. I feel this could have a meaning of smooth going, calmness as you see ducks gliding across the water, not fighting up a waterfall!
Last edited by Tama on Sat Nov 18, 2017 1:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Mitate in netsuke

Postby Bakurae » Wed Aug 30, 2017 11:28 am

Wow. Unusual, and funny!


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