Tenaga and Ashinaga - 5692

Not signed, Japan

Tenaga and Ashinaga
mid 19th century
ivory  
2,8x2,5x1,7 cm
2005 bequest Maria Taglietti Lanfranchi
Inv. 5692



This netsuke represents Tenaga (long arms, 手長) and Ashinaga (long legs, 足長) sitting side by side, dressed only in a thong. While the first is crouching, holding his long legs with his folded arms, the second puts his arms, which are also bent on the head of his companion. This type of composition, is quite unusual in the depiction of Tenaga and Ashinaga, as the most classic iconography shows these imaginary beings while fishing helping each other. The himotoshi are natural, formed in the space between the two figures.

One of the favourite themes from the Edo school in the first half of the nineteenth century, along with subjects drawn from Chinese and Japanese history and everyday life, was Tenaga and Ashinaga, often inspired by the images contained in the Manga by Katsushika Hokusai.

The Lanfranchi collection comprises a second piece with Tenaga and Ashinaga realized by Ryoji and a particular piece in which only Tenaga is represented.

G.R.

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