circa 1800

An exceptionally tall carving of the mutually dependent couple, Ashinaga and Tenaga. The former (Long Legs) carries his companion Long Arms on his back, cupping the latter’s rear in his joined hands. Tenaga holds a basket in one hand, while the other arm trails along to Ashinaga’s calf as he prepares to reach down for the turtle that his colleague has pinned beneath one foot. The food gathering expedition seems quite leisurely as Ashinaga turns his face up to share a comment with his smiling friend. The carver conveys the familiar intimacy of their co-dependence with great skill. The himotoshi is formed through the spaces under Ashinaga’s arms.

Height: 25.5cm

Such a tall netsuke is inherently impractical for everyday use, and could only have been worn as an occasional display of bragadaccio.

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