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Japanese netsuke, Raiden the Thunder God with his drum

Image attached to O.46-1991

An image of Netsuke: katabori: Raiden the Thunder God with his drum. Unknown maker, Japan, Teiji or Sadaji. Raiden is sitting on his haunches with his knees up and his raised left hand holding on to the clouds; his drum is strapped to his back and he peers down through a hole in the clouds. Most of the glaze seems to have worn off, yet green clouds, a red band on the drum and white glazed eyes, back pack and shorts are still visible. There are possible traces of gold lacquer on his arms and the back of his head. Circular himotoshi just off centre. Earthenware and wood; circular with moulded relief and glazed, height, whole, 1.8 cm, width, whole, 3.4 cm, circa 1830-1870. Edo (Japanese period, 1615-1868). Notes(s): Raiden is the deity of thunder and storm. His destructive activities cause some fear but the farmers are grateful for the blessings the accompanying rain brings to the crops. Japanese artists give Raiden the appearance of a devil and often treat him with slightly humorous disrespect.

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About this image

Netsuke: katabori: Raiden the Thunder God with his drum. Unknown maker, Japan, Teiji or Sadaji. Raiden is sitting on his haunches with his knees up and his raised left hand holding on to the clouds; his drum is strapped to his back and he peers down through a hole in the clouds. Most of the glaze seems to have worn off, yet green clouds, a red band on the drum and white glazed eyes, back pack and shorts are still visible. There are possible traces of gold lacquer on his arms and the back of his head. Circular himotoshi just off centre. Earthenware and wood; circular with moulded relief and glazed, height, whole, 1.8 cm, width, whole, 3.4 cm, circa 1830-1870. Edo (Japanese period, 1615-1868). Notes(s): Raiden is the deity of thunder and storm. His destructive activities cause some fear but the farmers are grateful for the blessings the accompanying rain brings to the crops. Japanese artists give Raiden the appearance of a devil and often treat him with slightly humorous disrespect.

Image data

  • Accession Number: O.46-1991
  • Photograph copyright © The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.
  • Aperture: f/32.0
  • Focal length: 100
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D
  • Photographer name: Image Library; Fitzwilliam Museum
  • Image height: 850 pixels
  • Image width: 1024 pixels
  • Processed with: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5.0 (Windows)
  • Filesize: 110.39kB
  • Exposure time: 1/30
  • ISO Speed: 100
  • Fnumber: 32/1
  • Captured: 2000:01:03 00:54:53

Key words

19th Century carved circular clouds deity drums Edo Period Fitz_AA glazed god of thunder gods himotoshi Japanese katabori lacquer lacquered lacquering moulded music musical instruments netsuke Raiden relief round Sadaji Teiji thunder god wood wooden

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