Raijin - 5705

Not signed, Japan

Raijin, God of Thunder
mid 19th century
legno laccato  
3,6 x3,0x3,0 cm
2005 bequest Maria Taglietti Lanfranchi
Inv. 5705



The netsuke depicts Raijin, God of Thunder, standing on the drum, in his left hand he holds the mallet with which he strikes the instrument, whose upper and lower surfaces are lacquered in red; the two holes of the himotoshi are on the back of the composition, on the drum band.

Raijin (or Raiden, 雷神), the God of Thunder along with Fujin (or Futen, 風神), the god of Wind, is part of the major deities of the Buddhist pantheon. Raijin was originally depicted as a serpent, known then as the Kamowake Raijin Omononushi no kami, in other cases it was represented as a boy accompanied by a Shinto priestess. Afterwards these various versions were unified creating Kitano Tenjin. Finally, in the Edo period (1615-1868) Raijin took the form of a demon (oni, 鬼), accompanied by a drum, with three claws on each hand and two on his feet, according to an iconography influenced by Buddhism.
In the Lanfranchi collection there is another model of Raijin, made by Gyokushu in ivory.

G.R.

 

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