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Rakan Tiger Netsuke

Antique Japanese Netsuke
Binzuru Rakan
And Sleeping Tiger
Signature: unsigned, early 19th Century
H 0.9 in.(2.3cm), W 1 in.(2.5cm), D 0.9 in.(2.cm)
Condition: hairlines and usage worn


Sold To Private Collection

Fine quality classic netsuke; very small in size, compact and designed for use. Beautifully carved in cream to light gold ivory with markings and striations, a superb surface with age patina and age cracks, engraving with sumi; worn to a glossy finish from long years of handling. Depicting the immortal Rakan Binzuru with a sleeping tiger.

Binzuru (Sanskrit: Pindola), called the Taming Tiger Rakan, was a Brahmin general who renounced his station to enter a monastery. The monastery was located in the remote mountains, where every day Binzuru heard a tiger howling. Thinking the hungry tiger might be coaxed to eat vegetables and give up his habit of killing, Binzuru collected food from the monks and put it in a bucket which he left outside. Eventually the tiger came every night for the food, and thus he was tamed, showing that even innate instinct may be subdued with compassion.

  
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