Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

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Manjū netsuke depicting the Daoist immortal Chōkarō with his horse

  • Description

    Chōkarō releasing his magic horse. This eccentric Daoist immortal carried his horse in a gourd around his waist. By sprinkling a few drops of water on the horse, it would be revived and could carry Chōkarō on its back.

  • Details

    Associated place
    AsiaJapanHonshūKantōTōkyō prefecture Tōkyō (place of creation)
    mid - late 19th century
    Ippōsai Jitsumin (1829 or 1831 - 1895)
    Associated people
    Zhang Guolao (active 8th century AD) (subject)
    Material and technique
    ivory, probably lathe-turned, with shishiaibori (sunken relief carving), and stained with red, black, and brown pigment; kebori (fine line) engraving on the reverse
    1.85 cm (height)
    4.5 cm (diameter)
    Material index
    Technique index
    formed carved,
    Object type index
    No. of items
    Credit line
    Bequeathed by Dr Monica Barnett, 2001.
    Accession no.
  • Further reading

    Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 23 April-22 September 2013, Manjū: Netsuke from the Collection of the Ashmolean Museum, Joyce Seaman, ed. (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 2013), no. 2 on p. 24, illus. p. 25

Glossary (2)

Manjū, netsuke

  • Manjū

    The manjū is a type of netsuke or toggle which takes its name from a round, sweet, bean paste-filled bun. A greater dynamism can often be achieved on the front and back of the netsuke than with other three-dimensional carving.

  • netsuke

    The netsuke is a form of toggle that was used to secure personal items suspended on cords from the kimono sash. These items included purses, medicine cases or tobacco paraphernalia.


    • currently in research collection

Objects are sometimes moved to a different location. Our object location data is usually updated on a monthly basis. Contact the Jameel Study Centre if you are planning to visit the museum to see a particular object on display, or would like to arrange an appointment to see an object in our reserve collections.


© 2013 University of Oxford - Ashmolean Museum