Monkey Trainer - 5666

Titolo: 
Monkey Trainer
Numero di Inventario: 
5666
Tipologia: 
netsuke
Collezione: 

East

Parole chiave soggetto: 
Monkey Trainer
Autore, ambito, luogo di produzione: 
Not signed, Japan
Pubblicazione: 
Si
Periodo: 
1850
Datazione specifica: 
late 19th century
Materia e Tecnica: 
ivory
Data di Ingresso: 
2005
Acquisizione: 
Maria Taglietti Lanfranchi
Tipo di acquisizione: 
bequest

This ivory netsuke represents a man sitting on a log; he is bringing  to his mouth a pipe (kiseru, 煙管) with his right hand, while in the other one he is holding by the cord (himo) a tobacco pouch (tabako-ire, 煙草入),  which has a pipe-case (kiseruzutsu, 煙管筒 ), an ojime and manju type netsuke. Next to his left foot, there is a drum with a folding fan on its top; on his right side a little monkey, dressed in a tunic without sleeves, is staring at him while nibbling at a fruit.

Monkey trainers (sarumawashi, 猿回し)  in ancient Japan probably took care of warriors' horses. During the Edo era (1615-1868) they rounded up in the bigger urban centers and, from the end of the 18th century, monkeys were often dressed up with human clothing to reproduce the Kabuki dramas, a custom that went on during the whole Meiji period (1868-1912). These shows were performed especially for New Year celebrations. Usually, trainers dressed up monkeys with traditional costumes worn by manzai and sanbaso dancers. These type of performances were very popular; people loved in particular their satirical aspect: thanks to this disguise, monkeys played roles that mocked nobility (kuge, 公卿) and samurai, avoiding the automatic governmental persecutions.

 

 

G.R.

 

 

 

 

 

Masterpiece: 
false
AC/DC: 
DC