Monkey on Bamboo Stalk and Ladybug - inv. 5679
Netsuke depicting a playful monkey cub (saru, 猿) sitting on a bamboo (take, 竹) stalk; on the front there is a ladybug, lacqued in black whit red dots. The holes of the himotoshi are on the bottom side of the bamboo.
The style and the technique used to dye this model suggets that it was made in the late 19th century.
The monkey is the ninth animal of the zodiac; it symbolizes the seventh month and the time between 3 p.m and 5 p.m.
In the japanese tradition monkeys are connected to fertility and it is believed that they protect from evil, from sickness and that help reproduction.
For an unusual representation of this animal in the Lanfranchi collection see the monkey by Chokusai.