A Japanese ivory netsuke, Kiyohmie on the bell of Dijoji. Signed Mitsuchika. Meiji Period.


A good Japanese ivory netsuke, c. 1870, Meiji Period, by Mitsuchika. Well carved as Kiyohime atop the Dôjôji bell.
With long hair and the face of a hannya, Kiyohime coils her serpent body around the bell of Dôjôji while holding aloft a long striker, as she attempts to extricate the priest Anchin, from under the bell.
The details finely carved, particularly her face.
Signed Mitsuchika to the rim of the bell.
Inscribed Collectors number '157'

Literature: The handsome visiting priest, Anchin fell in love with the beautiful Kiyohime. Eventually, he resisted her further temptation to persue his vocation and ended their passionate relationship. Kiyohime felt a woman scorned at his rejection, lost her mind and pursued him in a furious rage. She confronted him at the edge of the Hidaka river, where the priest persuaded a boatman to help him cross the river, and convinced him not to assist Kiyohime. When Kiyohime saw that Anchin was escaping her, she jumped into the river and started to swim after him. While swimming in the raging river, her fury transformed her into a giant serpent. When Anchin realised her transformation, and that she was still in pursuit, he ran into the temple of Dōjō-ji. He pleaded with the priests for help and they hid him under the bell of the temple. Even so, Kiyohime discovered him hiding inside the bell and coiled her serpent firm around it. She banged the bell loudly several times with her tail, then gave a great belch of fire that melted the bell, and killed Anchin.

Medium: Ivory

Signed/Inscribed: Signed Mitsuchika. Inscribed collectors number '157'

Height:  6.50 cm, 2.56"
Width:  3.40 cm, 1.34"

Condition: Perfect. No damage. No restoration.

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