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Meiji period ivory Takara bune treasure ship.

The hull in segmented planks carved to simulate the grain of timber with relief carving on the bow and stern. On the bow the mythical ho-o bird, the fenghuang of China, that was believed to bring good fortune. Four of the Gods of Good Fortune are on board. The wooden stand is modelled as waves.

Japan's culture was aquired from India, Tibet, China and Korea and the myth is that it was brought from those countries by the Gods of Good Fortune. The transportation system they used was the Takara bune, the ship that the Gods of Good Fortune arrived in Japan, full of treasures such as gold, coral, silver, coins, and rice.

Wealth was measured in how much rice a man had. Other treasures and precious things such as good luck, happiness, and long life were also included in its cargo. The treasure ship itself is considered as a kind of charm, and an old custom was to put a picture of the ship and its passengers, with their treasures under the pillow on the night of January the 1st. If a dream occurred on that night, the people believed that it was the sign of a good year. 

The ship had many wonderful things besides gold, coral and silver. Also in it were the teachings of Buddha, and the culture of China, India and Korea. 

Height. 230 mm. (9 inches). Length. 250 mm. (10 inches).

Good condition.

Meiji period. c.1900.


TAKARA BUNE. (Mythical JapaneseTreasure ship). Okimono.

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