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man examining wound on his leg

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Victor
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man examining wound on his leg

Postby Victor » Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:23 am

Good morning, I recently bought this little netsuke at an auction in Southern Ireland. It appears to show a man examining a wound on his leg, judging by the colour of the item protruding from the wound it looks like a piece of coral. I'd be interested to hear members opinions as to what it could be. The boxwood netsuke is 3cms tall and unsigned. Opinions on its age welcome also.
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souldeep
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Re: man examining wound on his leg

Postby souldeep » Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:50 am

Hi Walter,

This model is usually described as "Man applying moxa".

Moxibustion is a traditional chinese therapy. It involves burning pellets of a herb called moxa (wormwood), or a stick of moxa, above particular points on the surface of the body, cauterising the skin.

Why this is usually represented with moxa on a seated man's leg, has always been a mystery to me.

A pun in here somewhere that meant something to the Japanese?

On the netsuke itself - I like the guys expression - he's wincing at the pain of applying the moxa. Your photography remains a nightmare - but from what I can make out, an honest old piece.
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.

dougsanders
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Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2004 3:05 pm
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Re: man examining wound on his leg

Postby dougsanders » Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:56 am

I've always thought that this netsuke theme along with the one where the man gets his testicles caught in his fundoshi just point to a universal idea of laughing at the misfortune of others, as well as a touch of camaraderie in that we all suffer from time to time with the same troubles.
For the netsuke carver, it gives an opportunity to show off one's ability to create a contorted, humorous facial expression, and elicit a response from the patron.

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chonchon
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Re: man examining wound on his leg

Postby chonchon » Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:02 am

Is that the moxa itself on his leg, or the resulting blister? :shock:

He is carrying a pair of iron/brass hibashi in his right hand, presumably used to move and carry the burning moxa mound.

Humour/humor? Japanese have traditionally found the suffering of others undergoing painful treatment uproariously funny.
Piers

Size is something.

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peter
Posts: 502
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2007 10:03 am
Location: Hungary

Re: man examining wound on his leg

Postby peter » Tue Oct 17, 2017 2:43 pm

Hello Victor
Lovely nice piece (sorry I push the price higher) for me it seems early 19th or late 18th century. The himotoshi looks older type but the inlay younger. Tipically inlayed a light color wood, but this one, a light corall perfect Moxa Man.
Congrats.
Peter

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souldeep
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Re: man examining wound on his leg

Postby souldeep » Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:03 pm

chonchon wrote:Is that the moxa itself on his leg, or the resulting blister? :shock:

He is carrying a pair of iron/brass hibashi in his right hand, presumably used to move and carry the burning moxa mound.

I always thought they were moxa cones. I guess because they look so similar (but then as you point out, so would a blister). A small amount of herb is rolled into a cone and burned directly on the skin. I guess this sometimes caused a burn. But then why in so many netsuke of this subject do we also see the subject applying ointment? I thought ointment is first placed on the point to avoid a burn. In Walter's example I just assumed, the coral insert, represented a glowing cone of moxa.

As I said in my first post on this topic - I really have never understood why there are so many examples in netsuke of this subject, and Doug may well hit the nail on the head - great subject to show off facial expressions :lust:

Example image from Wikipedia of what I mean regarding how I understand moxa looks...
A_Japanese_physician_applying_moxa_(a_substance_produced_fro_Wellcome_V0015992.jpg

PS Shrewd observation regarding the the hibashi.
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: man examining wound on his leg

Postby chonchon » Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:21 pm

In an ideal world, a cone or a pyramid would be perfect, I agree, but the thing on his leg is not in the shape of a cone, and it has not fallen off, despite being on a vertical shin. This is why I asked if it might not be a burn blister, although if it was rolled paste and homemade I guess it could be any shape!
Piers

Size is something.

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souldeep
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Re: man examining wound on his leg

Postby souldeep » Tue Oct 17, 2017 4:05 pm

Points taken.

I suppose another contributing factor (quite possibly wrongly) that makes me assume it's representing and external object is in examples like the model of Oni's being pelted with beans. In many of those examples the beans represented as inlays help differentiate that the beans are external of the Oni's body.

Many of the moxa models seem to choose that same meridian point to represent the moxa/blister. Is there something to this, some Japanese saying, or pun, lost?
34f32260c7cd912725a4f582276e8c14--harley-street-acupuncture-points.jpg

Here's a few examples of what I mean, from a quick search.
45_Book-gallery.jpg
fa49b94266e01cf02b365e5542ae7d49--japanese-porcelain-japan-art.jpg
90730237.jpg
075de25c-589e-49c2-8425-e2df49bcf3e8.jpg

And here is one with no inlay, or blister, showing active use of the hibashi Pier's noted in Walter's model.
198d1aa8ff73f297a09bee423cccd345.jpg
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.

pjburton
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Location: United Kingdom

Re: man examining wound on his leg

Postby pjburton » Tue Oct 17, 2017 4:26 pm

A similar moxa man that I have.

Moxa Man 1.jpg

Moxa Man 2.jpg
Peter

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souldeep
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Location: London

Re: man examining wound on his leg

Postby souldeep » Tue Oct 17, 2017 4:50 pm

Hi Peter - lovely example! Is it possible to post one more photo so we can see the expression on his face?

Looks to be in the style of Shugetsu. Who's signed this one.. Shu..?
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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