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.
Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings
Signature: Kuku Josō tō
[ Adam Clark Vroman , Pasadena, CA , 1910; sold to Sage].; Margaret Olivia Sage , New York (1910; donated to MMA).
Artist:Date: late 11th to early 12th century Accession Number: 2015.300.251a, b Date:late 11th to early 12th centuryMedium:Lacquered and gilded Japanese cypressAccession:2015.300.251a, bOn view in:Gallery 224