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Buddhism along the Silk Road

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Netsuke Carved in Shape of Folded Letter on Paper Decorated with Court Motifs

Date:
19th century
Culture:
Japan
Medium:
Ivory
Dimensions:
H. 1 1/2 in. (3.8 cm); W. 2 in. (5.1 cm)
Classification:
Netsuke
Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. Russell Sage, 1910
Accession Number:
10.211.419
  • Description

    This realistic design of autumn ivy, a common sight in Japan, is a motif that recalls the episode in Tales of lse (chapt. 9), in which the poet, traveling to the east along a dark and narrow route overgrown with ivy on Mount Utsu, crosses paths with a wandering ascetic returning to the capital to whom he entrusts a poem of love. The ivory netsuke represents a love letter on paper decorated with courtly designs of paulownia and symbols for the chapters of Genji used in incense games

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    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
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