Man Polishing His Spirit (19084)

Meiji Period (1868-1912) boxwood Japanese netsuke of what looks like a man polishing the floor. This is a very finely wrought netsuke, showing a man on his hands and knees polishing the wooden floor. Turning the netsuke over, the swirls of the brush read, “Kokoro” or “heart”.  There is a Japanese saying which is tied to the Samurai and Zen Buddhism: “Kokoro wo migaku” loosely translated “to polish one’s heart”.  This in the martial arts, which the Samurai practiced, means to nurture and polish your spirit and being so that you have no attachments — ultimately polishing your spirit like a mirror, so that all your opponent sees is his or her own flaws.  This is a good example of a netsuke that proves how fine an unsigned work can be.


Additional information


Meiji Period (1868-1912)




Meji Period (1868-1912)

Picture Size

Size: 1" x 11/2" x 1"

SKU 19084 Category

1 in stock