Ivory netsuke in the form of Tanuki, Japanese raccoon dog, carrying his large scrotum. A mischevious figure in Japanese mythology commonly associated with excessive drinking and gluttony, made in Japan, 1701-1900
Tanuki is a mischievous figure in Japanese mythology. He is a Japanese raccoon dog, commonly associated with excessive drinking and gluttony, but also a bringer of good luck. This ivory netsuke is in the form of Tanuki, carrying his grossly enlarged scrotum.
Netsuke are toggle-like ornaments. They hang objects such as medicine boxes or tobacco pouches from the sash of a kimono – a traditional form of Japanese dress. Netsuke carving is a form of miniature sculpture which developed in Japan over several hundred years. They were often beautifully decorated with elaborate carving, lacquer work, or inlays and were usually made from wood, ivory or porcelain. Nothing is known about the netsuke owner. Perhaps he carried it as a warning about an excessive lifestyle.
- Asian Medicine
- Object Number:
- netsuke costume (personal accessories), ethnography (japanese) and tanuki, costume (personal accessories), ethnography (japanese) and netsuke
- visual and verbal communication
Cite this page
We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.
Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero
Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence
Download catalogue entry as json
View manifest in IIIF viewer
Download manifest IIIF
Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.