Project Description

Lacquer single case inro by Ryusei 

Decorated in high relief takamakie over a gyobu ground, the snake’s underbelly in silver lacquer, the toad’s dappled skin in matte brown lacquer with patches of black and hints of gold

Signed: Ryusei

9.1 cm high

It took me a long while to realise that the toad has half swallowed a slug. The term san-sukumi refers to the three creatures depicted. While the snake can devour the toad, and the toad the slug, both without adverse consequences, the slug carries a toxin which would poison the snake were it to ingest a toad that had swallowed a slug. For an inro with the same design by Kansai (presumably Koma Kansai), see J. Kurstin, ‘Miniature Masterpieces’, pp. 72-73

MR2407 

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