Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

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Manjū netsuke depicting Minamoto Yoshitsune practising martial arts with a tengu demon

  • Description

    The warrior Minamoto no Yoshitsune practising martial arts with a tengu demon, whom he is throwing to the ground. On the reverse another tengu is flying through the air, having been dispatched in the fight. Minamoto no Yoshitsune is also depicted with a tengu demon on the print EA1971.92.

  • Details

    Associated place
    Asia Japan (place of creation)
    AsiaJapanHonshūOsaka prefecture Osaka (possible place of creation)
    AsiaJapanHonshūKantōTōkyō prefecture Tōkyō (possible place of creation)
    1820 - 1860
    Kōsai Moritoshi (active c. 1820 - c. 1860)
    Associated people
    Minamoto no Yoshitsune (1159 - 1189) (subject)
    Material and technique
    ivory, probably lathe-turned, with carved decoration, and stained with red and black pigment
    2.3 cm (height)
    5.7 cm (diameter)
    Material index
    Technique index
    formed carved,
    Object type index
    No. of items
    Credit line
    Bequeathed by Dr Monica Barnett, 2001.
    Accession no.
  • Further reading

    Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 23 April-22 September 2013, Manjū: Netsuke from the Collection of the Ashmolean Museum, Joyce Seaman, ed. (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 2013), no. 91 on p. 226, illus. p. 227

Glossary (3)

Manjū, netsuke, tengu

  • Manjū

    The manjū is a type of netsuke or toggle which takes its name from a round, sweet, bean paste-filled bun. A greater dynamism can often be achieved on the front and back of the netsuke than with other three-dimensional carving.

  • netsuke

    The netsuke is a form of toggle that was used to secure personal items suspended on cords from the kimono sash. These items included purses, medicine cases or tobacco paraphernalia.

  • tengu

    Tengu are powerful mountain goblins. Two types appear in Japanese art, one with a long nose, and the other with a beak and claws. One identifying feature of both is a feathered fan.


    • currently in research collection

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