Sunday, June 20, 2010

Rat netsuke

Traditional Japanese garments, including kimonos, had no pockets, so women tucked things in their sleeves, but men hung small pouches, baskets, or boxes from their sashes with beaded cords to hold their belongings. Beginning in the 17th c., these beaded cords were secured with small sculptures called netsuke, which have become collector's items. The L.A. County Museum of Art has an extensive collection, so I chose the rat-related netsuke to use as examples. These include a rat pair from the 18th c. (4th image); a seven rat group, a rat on a coiled rope, and a rat on a tobacco pouch from the mid-19th c. (2nd, 3rd, and 5th images); and a frustrated ratcatcher from the late 19th c. (1st image). The rat is one of the 12 signs in the Japanese zodiac (which parallels the Chinese zodiac, but differs from the Western zodiac in being divided into years rather than months). Those born in the year of the rat (1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008) your ambition and tolerance for hardship make you a good worker. You are honest, except when you hide feelings of anger. This ability to control your emotions can make you manipulative, but you are fair and expect the same of others. You are highly organized, eloquent, and shrewd. And although have a tendency toward obstinacy and intolerance, you are considered sensitive, sociable, and quite charismatic! For more information on netsuke, try the International Netsuke Society. I think I want one for my birthday!

1 comment:

  1. Amazing Japanese Ivory Netsuke of Rats. I am personally admire Ivory Netsukes especially I loves the Netsukes made out from Mammoth ivory.


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