Blind Men and the Elephant, Ivory, Japan

Blind Men and the Elephant

Period:
Meiji period (1868–1912)
Date:
19th century
Culture:
Japan
Medium:
Ivory
Dimensions:
H. 1 5/8 in. (4.1 cm); W. 1 3/4 in. (4.4 cm)
Classification:
Netsuke
Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. Russell Sage, 1910
Accession Number:
10.211.900
Not on view
This netsuke is a witty rendition of a Japanese allegory on truth and interpretation. A group of six blind men endeavor to describe an elephant, however their attempts are thwarted as none of them are able to describe the entire animal.
Signature: Kuku Josō tō
[ Adam Clark Vroman , Pasadena, CA , 1910; sold to Sage].; Margaret Olivia Sage , New York (1910; donated to MMA).