Two oni hiding - 5715

Not signed, Japan

Two oni
II half 19th century
ivory  
3,4x3,0x2,0 cm
2005 bequest Maria Taglietti Lanfranchi
Inv. 5715



The netsuke depicts two oni (devils, 鬼) that are trying to avoid the dry beans throwing, a traditional New Year’s day  exorcism, accompanied by the formula of the Oni yarai, "Go away devils!". One of the two devils looks like he survived the difficult situation, hiding into a box with some openings from which his head and his limbs come out; the other is in a very dangerous situation: he is trying to climb on the box holding his head in his hands, while the beans have already hit him: one on the shoulders and two on his buttocks.

In the Lanfranchi collection the Oni yarai theme is also represented by an okimono made by Gyokushu.

 G.R.

 

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