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Father & son straining liquid

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Re: Father & son straining liquid

Postby tanukisan » Sat Jan 20, 2018 11:06 pm

Better late than never - I've finally solved the mystery about who and what this netsuke depicts - Toenmei, the 'Sage of the Five Willows'.

Toenmei (Chinese, Tao Qian, 365 - 427AD) was a poet who liked his comforts (rice wine at the top of the list). Initially agreeing to serve as a magistrate, he returned the seals of office after 80 days, on realising the extent of his foolishness when etiquette forced him to kowtow before a visiting official who 'did not deserve a nod from an imbecile''. He went back to solitude and poetry, cultivating flowers in his garden and living in a modest house with 5 willow trees. Sometimes he is depicted with a servant, admiring the flowers beside him, or holding a piece of cloth over the mouth of a jar, to filter cloudy rice wine and make it sparkling clear.
Last edited by tanukisan on Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:43 am, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: Father & son straining liquid

Postby AFNetsuke » Sat Jan 20, 2018 11:44 pm

Good story John! I don't see any willow pattern on the clothing which would have made a more positive ID. Or willows could have been carved rising behind the young assistant. Still, your proposed identification sounds good.

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Re: Father & son straining liquid

Postby souldeep » Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:14 pm

Nice discovery John. Thanks for sharing your detective work :)
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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