Netsuke: Foreigner carrying a cock, 19th century
Ivory; H. 3 5/8 in. (9.2 cm), W. 1 1/8 in. (2.8 cm), D. 11/16 in. (1.7 cm)
Gift of Mrs. Russell Sage, 1910 (10.211.1444)
Portuguese, Spanish, and Dutch traders arrived in Japanese ports from the mid-sixteenth century, but only the Dutch were officially allowed to remain in Japan after the national exclusion policy was enacted in 1638. Netsuke figures of foreigners often depict them wearing unusual clothing such as pantaloons and ruffled shirts, donning elaborate hats, and carrying exotic animals.