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Netsuke, 19th C., Tekkai Sennin blows his soul to parad

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Netsuke and Related: Pre 1900: item # 447298

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Netsuke, 19th C., Tekkai Sennin blows his soul to parad
Height 5,3 cm. Tekkai Sennin has been reputed to be direct pupil of Lao Tse. The legend is that he was a good looking and brilliant man and that, due to his taoists studies, he reached impressive results. His most important power was the ability to separate his soul from his body; but this ability had been the cause of his ruin. The tale is that he went to paradise to visit his master Lao Tse but stayed away from his body for too long so that one of his pupils, believing he was dead, decided to cremate him. Tekkai had then been forced to reincarnate in the body of a crippled vagabond just passed away. This netsuke represents both the important moments of the tale. Tekkai is in fact depicted while blowing his soul away from his body, which in this case is already the body of the mendicant, unstable with both hands on his long staff The desperation of the Sennin is here evident in the bold carving of the face, nearly a caricature, and in the nude ugly body, which become similar to the contorted staff by which he is supported.


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