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Antique Japanese Netsuke
Holding Lotus

Netsuke Signature: Jugyoku, 19th Century

H 2 in.(5cm.), W 0.5in.(1.25cm), D 0.5in.(1.25cm)

Condition: chip to lotus

Hannya Netsuke Signature Jugyoku

Ueda Jugyoku was celebrated for his excellent carvings in ivory and wood. His teacher Keigyoku was proficient in ivory staining and taught this craft to Jugyoku, many of whose ivories are finished in subtle burnished tones enhanced by staining. He lived and worked in Higashi-Okubo, a suburb of Tokyo. He created many of his works, prized for their originality and technical perfection, at the request of the agent Tomigawa. One such carving is signed “64 years old, Meiji 12”, dating him to both the Edo and the Meiji periods as his career spanned the transition from feudal Japan to the modern era. On the back of the right side of this Hannya is the signature of Jugyoku, written in standard script with the character “ju” rendered in 14 strokes. Netsuke by Jugyoku are found in celebrated collections, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Hannya Netsuke Sig Jugyoku
Sold To Private Collection

A figure of a Hannya, or female demon, in a threatening stance, holding a lotus. The garb of the figure is derived from the costume of the Noh theatre piece Dojoji, and is meticulously incised with intricate borders and textures in geometric, foliate and cloud designs which despite their size have been articulated with energetic spontaneity. The eyes are widely glaring with wild furry brows, the mouth open in a snarl, revealing long fangs.

The original Hannya is the accursed Kiyohime, an innkeeper’s daughter who fell passionately in love with the monk Anchin of Dojoji Monastery. The good monk warded off temptation which incensed Kiyohime and turned her love to hatred. Her fury made her demonic and she caused the monk to be imprisoned under a six foot iron temple bell. Spite withered her beauty and her face became that of a hideous witch; her body grew scales and she was transformed into a huge serpent encircling the bell with the hot flames of her passion. When the bell was lifted all that remained of Anchin was a pile of white ashes. Kiyohime fled and was never seen again.

Hannya Netsuke Signed Jugyoku rtHannya Netsuke Signed JugyokuHannya Netsuke lt
Hannya NetsukeHannya Netsuke bottom
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