Tadatoshi - 5650

Tadatoshi, Nagoya school

first half 19th century
2,8x4,2x2,5 cm
忠利 (Tadatoshi)
2005 bequest Maria Taglietti Lanfranchi
Inv. 5650

The netsuke represents a Shōjō asleep on his side, his head supported by his right hand. He has a very long hair and is wearing trousers decorated with waves and a tunic (haori, 羽織) with a lozenge pattern.
The Shōjō, is a mythological creature, a kind of marine spirit, who has a passion for sake. The Shōjō is also a character in the Nō theatre where the actor who plays him performs a dance of drunkenness.
At the base of netsuke, in a rectangular cartouche, is engraved the particular signature Tadatoshi (忠 利) with the ukibori technique (浮彫, a method that allows to bring parts of the sculpture in relief).
Tadatoshi is an important artist of the Nagoya school, active in the first half of the nineteenth century. He worked exclusively in wood that he dyed in order to obtain a reddish cast. One of his favourite subjects was the sleeping Shōjō.
A piece, created by Komin, which depicts an actor playing Shōjō is part of the Lanfranchi collection.