Kutani figurines


Japanese figurines


Fudo Myo-O
JPEG - 79 kb Fudo Myo-O is a Japanese deity (also know as Acala), the God of Fire, a manifestation of the central sun (Vairocana), a fierce God of Indian origin although neither a Buddha or Bodhisattva. A male, he is usually portrayed as livid blue in color with a terrible facial expression sitting on a rock surrounded by flames, gripping a sword in the right hand, a rope in the left, teeth bared and with angry eyes. The deity symbolizes the mind that does not move, or the body that is not unsettled even when surrounded by danger. The deity was popular with the Japanese warriors (bushi or samurai) who saw themselves as guardians of order in a nation besieged with disorder.
Duck
JPEG - 18.2 kb A pair of Mandarin ducks is often given as mariage present. They will bring fidelity and happy long life.
Junishi
十二支
The twelve zodiacal signs.
Ne = Rat, Ushi = Ox, Tora = Tiger, U = Hare ,Tatsu = Dragon, Mi = Snake, Uma = Horse, Hitsuji = Sheep, Saru = Monkey, Tori = Cock, Inu = Dog, I = Boar.
Kannon
JPEG - 21.5 kb Kannon, the Goddess of Mercy is also quite often found in the figurine.
The Bodhisattva Kannon is one of the most popular Buddhist goddess in Japan and China. In Buddhism a Bodhisattva is someone who has achieved six of ten perfections through previous lives, and is approaching actual Buddahood. Bodhisattvas chose to remain in the world in order to help and protect humanity. Kannon has appeared long throughout the history of Japanese Art.
Daruma
達磨
JPEG - 26 kb Daruma is the Japanese name of Dharma. He is considered as the father of the Zen buddhism. Daruma dolls are generally hollow figurines with red color. These dolls are considered as toys and bring good luck. It is a popular gift in Japan.
Karajishi Lion
唐獅子
JPEG - 52.4 kb Japanese Lions are called Karajishi. They found their origin in China during Tang Dynasty. At that time people had not generally seen lions and they could only imagine a terrible animal. Karajishi is believed to be born from a dragon.
Karajishi is placed at the entrance of a home to protect against devils and bring good luck. A lion with its paw resting on a ball is a male, whereas the female protects a cub with its foreleg.
Koma Inu
JPEG - 44.1 kb Japanese Koma Inu are also called Temple Dogs as you find them always at the entrance of temple.
Neko
JPEG - 26.8 kb Porcelain Maneki Neko is very popular in Japan. If Neko has the right paw up, he brings luck, in the case of the left paw he brings money to the house.
The old Couple from Takasago
JPEG - 76.7 kb This is one of the oldest legend of Japan and was played in a Noh play The man’s name is Jo and wife is Uba and as a couple they are called Jotomba.. They symbolize long life and happiness with Jo raking in the good and Uba sweeping out the bad.. This pair is quite beloved in Japan and often given as wedding gifts, celebrations and new year.
Otafuku or Okame
JPEG - 116.4 kb This is a representation of Otafuku or Okame, the goddess of the theater.
Okina 翁
The old man
JPEG - 172.7 kb Okina
In the legend of Shinto, god appears often as an old man. It is often represented this way especially in Noh theater.
Okina is the title of a Noh play
Bijin 美人
JPEG - 27.3 kb Bijin, represents a beautiful women. It goes back to the early 19 century when ukyoe artists were publishing prints of beautiful Geisha - Utamaro is one of the most famous artist.

Photos are courtesy of the owners of the figurines. Their names can be found in the database under the different categories.