A Japanese boxwood netsuke depicting the poet Saigyo Hoshi contemplating Mount Fuji.
Saigyo Hoshi (1118-1190) was a poet, born from nobility, who became a monk at the age of 22 and took the religious name En’i ? ?. He then took his pen name, “Saigy?”, which means “travel to the West”, a reference to Amitabha Buddha and the Western paradise. His most famous poems describe his numerous travels in Japanese nature. Traditionally he’s depicted at the foot of Mount Fuji like in this case, in an episode called “Saigyo ni Fuji”.
For similar examples see:
– The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Margaret Olivia Sage collection, New York donated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
– British Museum, part of the Sir Augustus Wollaston Franks Collection, illustrated by H. Joly, LIJA, p.155.
Edo period 19th century
Sizes: 4,5 x 6 x 3 cm.
Condition report: Good condition