antique ivory manju netsuke depicts a seminal moment of true nobility. Kanshin
was a wise and powerful general who was known for his leadership and the council
he gave to Ryhuho who became the emperor of China and the founder of the Han dynasty
206 B.C. One day, while Kanshin was walking through town, a ruffian braggart blocked
Kanshin’s path and refused to let him pass unless Kanshin’ crawled between the
ruffian’s legs. The general obliged and crawled underneath the braggart’s legs---
to the amusement of onlookers. Kanshin then continued on his way.
not to be attached to a particular stance, to not be beholden or conformed to
the rigidity of pride makes us more fluid, expansive, powerful and present. These
are the teachings at the core of Taoism. This moment of surrender as a doorway
to true power is intricately depicted on the front of this manju. Flip the netsuke
over and you will see finely wrought patterns that provide depth and texture.
Hold this Edo era ivory netsuke in your hands and you are beholden to finely wrought
art and a poignant reminder of our inner nobility.