Portuguese, 18th century - inv. 5685
This netsuke depicts a standing Portuguese, dressed in a long tunic with horn buttons on the front side of the dress, closed on the waistline by a belt that the character holds in his hands. He wears a conical shaped hat with twisted brims . The two holes of the himotoshi, one bigger than the other, are on the back side, next to the pelvis. The Portuguese were the first foreiners to reach Japan in 1542-1543.
This kind of objects served to satisfy the Japanese curiosity for the naban, “the southern barbarians”.