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Choryo Kosehiko Netsuke
Sold To Private Collection

Antique Japanese Carved Netsuke
Choryo and Kosehiko
Fetching Shoe
Signature: Yusai. Circa: 19th Century

h. 1.3 in.(3.5cm), w. 1.5 in.(4cm), d. 1 in.(2.5cm)
Condition: excellent!

Signed by the early 19th Century artist Yusai, a gold lacquer craftsman who also made carvings from ivory. The tiny netsuke is rich in detail and spirit, its subject matter accurately and economically on display. Choryo and Kosekiko, the shoe, and the scroll are all present, as are fine portrayals of the old man’s beard, the mule’s down trodden and sagging body, and Choryo’s humble presentation. On the bottom Yusai’s signature is outlined in a wavy reserve, accompanied by a mountain motif. The piece is beautifully aged, and in excellent condition.

This signed netsuke depicts the story of Choryo and Kosehiko. It begins with Choryo, who after falling from his position as the governor of Han, led a life of wandering. One day when crossing a bridge he came across a ragged-looking old man on a mule, who had just dropped his shoe into the water. Choryo, with great humility, waded into the water and retrieved the old man’s shoe. For this act of kindness, the old man offered to reward Choryo, provided that he could meet the old man very early in the morning the next day. Choryo came the next day but was not early enough, and the old man told him to come back. The next day Choryo came even earlier, but still found the old man waiting. The third time Choryo stayed over night at the meeting spot, making sure the old man would not be first to get there. When the old man arrived in the morning, satisfied, he revealed himself to be Kosekiko, the Yellow Stone Elder, and gave Choryo The Three Stategies of Yellow Stone, one of the classics of Chinese Military Science. Choryo went on to become a general for Ryuho, the founder of the Han dynasty.

  
  
  
  
Choryo Kosehiko Netsuke
  
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