Vintage Buddhist Statue – Sleeping Boy Japanese Ceramic

This charming older looking ceramic figurine depicts a small boy sleeping on a Buddhist temple drum. I wasn’t sure of the story behind this figure until I visited a Zen Buddhist temple near our home here in Japan, and noticed a similar statue in the garden there. I asked the priest’s brother if he could tell me about the statue, and he informed me that it depicts a famous Buddhist monk who, as a child, once fell asleep while on duty playing the drum for a temple service. As in some other religions, it seems that in Buddhism children are sometimes given duties during the religious service. Large and small wooden drums similar to the one this boy is using as his pillow are common sights in Japanese Buddhist temples, and even in the homes of Japanese who have a home altar or butsudan. I was told that the boy is sometimes portrayed with a small animal companion (usually a cat or rat) resting upon his shoulder.

About the Listed Item

This figure is less than 40 years old and in fair condition with no cracks though there are marks and scratches from handling and the figure and base wear a darkened patina of age. There is a chip visible on the back side of the left ear of the rat. The statue includes a fitted wooden box with lid. The box is also darkened with age and a small piece of wood seems to be missing from the top of the box near where the lid fits into place. The item was acquired in the historic city of Shizuoka, Japan near the foot of Mt. Fuji.

Height of statue (excluding base): 1.6 inches (4.2 centimeters)
Weight of all items together: 2.5 ounces (71 grams)

item code: R1S5-0005641
ship code: L1650


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About softypapa
I love to walk and think.

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