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[AC] Mead Art Museum at Amherst College; [HC] Hampshire College Art Gallery;
[HD] Historic Deerfield; [MH] Mount Holyoke College Art Museum; [MH SK] The Joseph Allen Skinner Museum at Mount Holyoke College; [SC] Smith College Museum of Art; [UM] University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMASS Amherst

 


Maker(s):Unknown
Culture:Japanese
Title:Ashinaga and Tenaga
Date Made:18th or 19th century
Type:Netsuke
Materials:Ivory; carved with pigment
Place Made:Asia; Japan
Measurements:Overall: 5 3/16 in x 1 5/16 in x 5/8 in; 13.2 cm x 3.3 cm x 1.6 cm
Narrative Inscription:  No inscription.
Accession Number:  MH 1986.30.32
Credit Line:William Richter Collection, Gift of Margaret Ruth Richter (Class of 1939)
mh_1986_30_32_v1_01.jpg

Description:
Japanese netsuke. A male figure with long arms (Tenaga) on the back of a standing male figure with long legs (Ashinaga). There is one hole on the back for functional use.

Label Text:
According to Japanese legend, Ashinaga and Tenaga were anthropomorphic creatures that resided near the sea. Tenaga’s long arms were ideal for catching fish, while Ashinaga possessed long legs, allowing him to wade into the waters far from shore. Together they formed a symbiotic relationship with Tenaga astride the shoulders of Ashinaga, an arrangement that permitted them to catch many more fish. The two are always portrayed with exotic hairstyles, emphasizing their mythical stature.

Keywords/Tags:
legend

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