Project Description

Pale Boxwood Netsuke of Raiden by Kano Tomokazu

Half kneeling, half seated on a bank of swirling cloud and with a large thunder drum on his back, the god of wind concentrates on filling his bag with wind. His eyes have dark inlaid pupils

Signed: Gifu Tomokazu. Circa 1830

Height: 6 cm

Provenance: Adie collection


In traditional Japanese iconography Raiden the god of thunder is shown making a racket, while Futen his fellow god of wind is depicted squeezing the wind from a large bag.  In this netsuke the rôles seem to have been fused. The Tomokazu Futen in the Behrens collection stands and has a large bag over his shoulder (Joly cat. no. 3245, illusrated on PL. XXXIX).  I conclude that this must be Raiden after all, and that he is permitted to make a bit of wind. Compare with another in the Hindson (Davey, no. 720) and Carré collections (Hurtig ‘Masterpeices’, no. 164)