netsuke

unsigned ivory netsuke

19th century

pair of nio guardians wrestling

2 3/8 by 1 5/8 in., 6 by 4.2 cm

both clad in the typical billowing loin cloths that reveal their well-defined musculature, they sit facing each other and lean forward to grasp their opponent's right hand and brace themselves for the struggle; the pupils of their eyes highlighted with dark stain 19th century

Nio are fierce guardians positioned at entrances to Buddhist temples to ward off devils. They are based on the Hindu directional guardians, Indra and Brahma. In Japan they are represented with intimidating physiques and stances to scare off any malignant spirits. Their wrestling is symbolic of the principal of futatsu tomoe- the yin and yang struggle (and balance) of opposing forces, including good and evil.

another view

kikumon

Scholten Japanese Art is open Monday - Friday, and some Saturdays, 11am - 5pm, by appointment.

Contact Katherine Martin at
(212) 585-0474 or email
kem@scholten-japanese-art.com
to schedule a visit.

site last updated
August 15, 2019

Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475