Friday, November 18, 2011

Mascot

Yesterday the Goat and I attended our first fine art auction at Gray's, which is a enchanted palace here in Cleveland where you'll find fairy godmothers, chalices, secret scrolls, talismans and magical cloaks. I purchased this netsuke.

A netsuke is a hand carved charm that your way-back Japanese dudes used to attach their manpurses to their kimonos. This one may look like a mild-mannered monkey wielding a skull scepter, but man-o-man, does he have secrets!

Not only is he at-the-ready to secure your manpurse or blast away a bad guy with his skull scepter, he's also transforming into a turtle.

AND his eyes pop out in order to facilitate super-netsuke xray vision.

Although I'm not sure who owns who in this budding relationship, the netsuke and I were clearly destined to be together as mine was the sole bid. For the curious, this skull-scepter-wielding-monkey-whose-eyes-pop-out-and-is-turning-into-a-turtle cost less than a one-year membership to the International Netsuke Society (but not much less).

If this guy doesn't bring me good luck, I just don't know what. Now then, any name suggestions?

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25 comments:

Nin Andrews said...

Aw, so cute. I see a lasting relationship here.

Mrs. C said...

I am so glad you were able to bring him home; he looks kinda like a Edgley to me...I dunno why.

A Daft Scots Lass said...

How intriguing!!

Tony Rugare said...

I think I met up with him in Kyoto. Looks like Fuji San to me.

Anonymous said...

"Irishi-san"?
"Manulo-San"?
"Clevo-san"?
"Pibbersuke"?
"Goatosuke"?-(form following function)
MR

Anonymous said...

The most enjoyable part of this post is to see the child-like delight in your eyes in the reflection in the last photo.
xxoo MR

swine said...

Butch!

Rex said...

Donatello

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! Very Cool!

RJ

Erin O'Brien said...

Fredzilla?

Bill said...

Occusuk
Occusuke

Anonymous said...

#OCCUPYBILLSBRAINPAN

B.E. Earl said...

Genbu (tortoise)

jo said...

It says he's a Kappa. They eat children and cucumbers. I'd call him Bud.

jo again. said...

(p.s. he is also way effin cool and im jealous)

Anonymous said...

Double dipping here:

"...mine was the sole bid." High dollar auction speak for "Don't fuck with The O'Brien (and her muscle of course, Goat)

RJ

Sean Craven said...

That would be a kappa, or turtle-boy. They're extremely powerful wrestlers, and if they win in a fight, they suck the loser's intestines out through their anus. But their strength is contained in a hollow full of water on their head, so if you bow to one before wrestling it, it will bow back, spill the water, and you get to keep your intestines.

There's still a strong belief in kappas in Japan -- they're linked with UFOs. And there is a totally rocking novel named Kappa, whose author escapes me.

Happy netsuke!

Sean Craven said...

And since he's a turtle-boy, I believe the tradition is to name him after a Renaissance painter.

twinkly sparkles said...

"He Who Sees As Far As His Mistress' Wishes And Can Make Them Come True"

but I'm not sure how to say that in Japanese

Kappa makes sense, but is also a Greek letter

What is he made of (I mean literally, what material, not figuratively as your intelligent readership would likely assume)?

DogsDontPurr said...

In San Francisco, there are many many galleries and shops with these little guys displayed by the dozen in all shapes and forms. Many of them depict all kinds of risque situations...if you know what I mean. I've always wondered about them...what their purpose was, why they seem so popular in SF. I've spent many a lazy afternoon, window shopping and gazing at these things.

Very cool that you were able to acquire this little gem. And also for shedding some light on something I've always been curious about. I love ancient things like this because you just know they are full of stories.

Any idea how old he is?

Dudesworthy said...

Mr Flaversham

Erin O'Brien said...

He's ivory. My miserable pix don't do him justice. The carving is very fine and he's signed on the bottom.

Wiki says they were most popular between 1615-1868. No idea if mine is that old.

Anonymous said...

"...if they win in a fight, they suck the loser's intestines out through their anus."-Sean

I always thought my ex-wife resembled a turtle.

RJ

CT said...

Re: "And since he's a turtle-boy, I believe the tradition is to name him after a Renaissance painter."

I vote for Bembo, the miniaturist:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonifacio_Bembo

He's really cute, Erin. I have a wooden horsenetsuke that has survived through several cross-country moves. Good luck, indeed.

Anonymous said...

Erin, have you chosen a name?
MR