Round Box with Design of Bugaku Dance Hat and Musical Instrument
Yamada Jōkasai (1681–1704)
Edo period (1615–1868)
Lacquer on wood with gold, mother-of-pearl inlay, and colored lacquer
H. 1 3/8 in. (3.5 cm); Diam. 3 in. (7.6 cm)
The Howard Mansfield Collection, Purchase, Rogers Fund, 1936
Not on view
The meticulously crafted images of a brocade hat and mouth organ that adorn this box resonate multiple auspicious associations. The hat bears a medallion depicting a phoenix, and its shape suggests the head of this fabled bird of ancient Chinese legend, said to appear only during a just reign. It is worn in the Bugaku dance Manzairaku (Happiness of Ten Thousand Years) by dancers whose graceful movements in large-sleeved robes of brilliant red evoke the appearance of the phoenix. The shape of the mouth organ resembles a phoenix resting with folded wings, and its tone lends an ethereal harmony to the dance's musical accompaniment. Together they signal the august aura of the imperial court and the legacy of ancient China, where these legends, dances, and music originated.
Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings
Howard Mansfield , New York (until 1936; sold to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Noh Robes," 1993.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Resonant Image: Tradition in Japanese Art (Part One)," 1997–98.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Enlightening Pursuits," February 28, 2001–August 5, 2001.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Poetry and Travel in Japanese Art," December 18, 2008–May 31, 2009.
Artist:Yamada Jōkasai (1681–1704) Date:19th centuryMedium:Sprinkled gold lacquer with mother-of-pearl, stone, and metal
Ojime: ovoid gold bead decorated with grasses
Netuske: black wood carved as a piece of firewoodAccession:36.100.198On view in:Not on view
Artist:Yamada Jōkasai (1681–1704) Date:second half of the 19th centuryMedium:Gold and colored lacquer with inlaid mother-of-pearl on ro-iro black lacquer; ojime: metal bead inlaid with silver; netsuke: carved ebony inlaid with ivory design of DarumaAccession:13.67.83On view in:Not on view