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 boar, also known as I or Inoshishi, is the twelfth animal of the zodiac. It is a symbol of audacity and determination, but also known to be aggressive, as told in many Japanese legends. This presumably female boar is carved very sensitively, her head is turned upwards with a gentle smile while her young is nestling up to her. The bulky body serves as a reminder of the strong nature of the boar. The hairwork is very finely incised, and similarly to the tiger (lot 8) the entire composition is in movement. The unstained ivory with a remarkable finish is reminiscent of works by Kaigyokusai Masatsugu. The eyes are inlaid in tortoise shell. Himotoshi on the underside, the signature RISSHISAI KANGYOKU on the haunch.
LENGTH 5.5 CM
Updated Condition: There are two hairlines around the body and one very minor hairline on the cheek of the mother boar, and another minor hairline through the young. Barely noticeable and otherwise in excellent condition.
Provenance: Collection of Sam Felton, purchased in 1986 from Michael Spindel (MS)
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 460.