Birth of a Mythological Bird (Bird-like Goblin Tengu) – netsuke


Toyoyasu - Birth of a Mythological Bird (Bird-like Goblin Tengu) – netsuke
Netsuke fasteners of ivory and wood occupy an irreplaceable position in Japanese applied arts. They are characterized by detailed execution and subtle visual humour. They served as fasteners, usually with two holes for a string, but they can also be seen as adornments of traditional kimono sashes. The term netsuke can be translated as “attached to a root”. Ivory, crystal, agate or coral miniatures of different shapes and themes were hung on strings attached to boxes for medicine, smoking or writing utensils or tobacco or coin pouches. This engraving by Toyoyasu captures a legendary winged creature, perhaps the imp Tengu, who is believed to be endowed with supernatural powers and extraordinary knowledge of military strategy. According to legend, Tengu of Kurama, not far from Kyoto, is believed to have raised the legendary Japanese warrior Minamoto no Yoshitsune.
measurements: height 4 cm
width 3,5 cm
depth 4 cm
in collections:
material: Wood, metal
inventory number: Vp 2778
gallery collection: Collection of Asian and African Art