Restrictive trade policies during the 17th century isolated Japan from foreign influence for 230 years, ushering in a period of great peace in which art, particularly miniature art, flourished and developed national characteristics. Subjects varied widely, including deities, legendary heroes, and animals. With the opening of Japan to foreign trade in the 19th century, Japanese miniature sculpture immediately captured the attention of Western collectors. In some provincial Japanese legends, long-tailed or two-tailed cats are believed to have supernatural powers, including the ability to bewitch human beings. Japanese sailors often brought cats aboard ships because they were thought to keep away the spirits of the deep. The Museum's Japanese Cat is reproduced from an original sculpture by an unknown Japanese artist from the late 1800s. Produced in cooperation with the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts.
|Dimensions: W: 7.5" H: 10.5" D: 8" (19cm x 27cm x 20cm)|
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