O-no no Tô-Fû, one of the three great calligraphy experts of the 10th century in Japan (894-964) was a minister of the emperors Shu-jaku and Mura-kami.
He is represented here traditionally dressed as a nobleman, holding an umbrella, and wearing a “yé-bo-shi”, high beanie hat exclusively reserved to noblemen and high ranking officials.
The two frogs carved at his feet refers to a very popular anecdote. It is said that O-no no Tô-Fû tried unsuccessfully, in seven different instances during his public servant career, to reach a higher position than the one he was occupying.
Losing hope, he was ready to give up, leave the palace and end his career, when he saw a small frog failing desperately at catching with its mouth a weeping willow leaf hanging over a stream.
Seven times the small animal fell back in the water without achieving its goal, but managed to catch it at its eight try.
O-no no Tô-Fû understood that the Gods were teaching him a lesson with this persistent frog, he mustered his courage and eventually succeeded at becoming a minister.
Late 19th Century - C. 1880
On the underside close to the right foot. Probably Naga-Yuki
Good global condition some small tiny chips visible on pictures see pictures for details
Luxembourg private collection
- Elephant ivory
- Meiji period (1868-1912)
- Region/ Country of origin
- Artist/ Maker
- Probably Naga-Yuki
- Title of artwork
- O-no no Tô-Fû
- Very good condition, see description
- 4.6×3.8×3.5 cm