Periodo Meji (1868 - 1912)
Height: 3.7 cm
Mermaid and merman (ninhgyo) were illustrated in imported and locally published encyclopedias distributed in Japan during the eighteenth century. They fit nicely in the category of anthropomorphic monsters long seen in Japanese art. In the encyclopedias, however, they were classed with mythical people such as Ashinaga and Tenaga. Mermaid imagery, considered semi-erotic, reached the highest of its popularity in the eighteenth century and early nineteenth century, although interest was revived in the late nineteenth century and the early twentieth century. This sleeping mermaid, her long flowing hair framing her face, is represented while she gently grabs her tail.
Netsuke for sale. Price on application. Please include item stock number: net-1070