Tachihara Noriyoshi (known under his go Risshisai Kangyoku), born in Tokyo, is specialized in carvings of various depictions of animals, particularly animals of the zodiac. The tiger, also known as tora, is the third animal of the zodiac. He was also known to use only the finest quality of material, which is evident in this piece, and has said to have been influenced by Kaigyokusai Masatsugu. This tiger is carved particularly expressive with its long and thick tail curling up its backside, its muscular body is emphasized, and the movement of the body is expressed masterfully. Note also the thick and naturalistically carved paws. Signed meticulously in a polished reserve RISSHISAI KANGYOKU.
HEIGHT 3.7 CM
Condition: Flawless condition
Provenance: Collection of Sam Felton, acquired in 1975 from Ashkenazi
(old invoice available)
Literature: The first 12 pages of ‘Living Masters of Netsuke’ by Miriam D. Kinsey, 1985, are devoted to Rishissai Kangyoku. On page 17 she writes: “Today some of the young carvers while still respecting the old masters, are producing netsuke with a refreshing freedom of spirit and self-expression. Kangyoku Risshisai is such a carver.”
Kangyoku is also listed in ‘Netsuke & Inro Artists and how to read their signatures’ by George Lazarnick, 1981, page 576. Lazarnick writes that he learnt carving from his father who belonged to a school originated by Hojitsu, which provides another link to the affinities to Kaigyokusai Masatsugu. Compare this model to the wood tiger by Kangyoku depicted on page 577.