Wooden Netsuke, Shouxing, God of Longevity

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Title: Wooden netsuke of Chinese deity Shouxing
Artist: Unsigned
Date: 19th century
Size: (H) 4.8 cm x (W) 2.7 cm x (D) 2.3 cm
Condition: The item is well-worn, with external areas showing aged wood patina. Some dust residue.

This netsuke shows the Chinese god of longevity called Shouxing. He is often depicted holding a peach, a symbol for immortality both in China and Japan. In Chinese mythology, he is one of three stellar gods known collectively as Fulushou. Though greatly revered, Shouxing has no temples. Instead, birthday parties for elders provide a fitting time for visitors to bow before his statue, which is draped in embroidered silk robes.


Netsuke were practical fashion accessories worn by Japanese men of the Edo period (1615-1868). Kimono has no pockets, and only women's garments had places in the sleeve to keep small objects. In contrast, men would carry their personal accessories by hanging them from the sash wrapped around their waist. Netsuke would therefore act as a 'toggle' that kept the sash hanging by preventing it from slipping.


Like many other art forms, netsuke reflect the nature of the society that produced them, displaying every aspect of Japanese culture, including its rich folklore and religion, crafts, trades, and professions, all types of people and creatures, both real and imagined, and every kind of object.

More Information
Title Wooden netsuke of Chinese deity Shouxing
Dimensions (H) 4.8 cm x (W) 2.7 cm x (D) 2.3 cm
Subject Modern/Shin-Hanga
Product Date 19th century