Japanese Daikoku Still Bank

Japanese Antique Bank of Metal | Daikoku Still Bank



Descriptive qualities& condition:

Dimensions: 6-1/4”h x 4-3/4”w x 3-3/4”d

This wonderful old Japanese “still” coin bank, (without any moving parts), in the form of Daikoku, and is a handsome three-dimensional figure depicting the cheerful and pudgy deity. He is wearing a flat peasant’s hat called Daikoku-zukin, a hip length, long sleeve jacket called a Hitatare, which is heavily textured and detailed on the back, as holds a small magic mallet while sitting on his sack of treasures. The happy lucky God exhibits one of the most captivating smiles in all Asian art, and is nearly always depicted in the act of joyfully granting wealth and happiness upon the citizenry. Notice the detailing of the seams on his bag of treasures with a large tie is the receptacle for coins, having one coin slot, (made to accept old coins used in the early 1900s) on the back for making a deposit. On the underside of the bank is a hinged door for the removal of coins, (the original key has been retained and included in this purchase). The bank is made of mixed metals that has a black metallic oil rubbed finish throughout the beautiful sculpted surface. No makers mark is present on the piece, but it comes in its original kiriwood box that has two untranslated signatures and two red chops, (most likely the artist and the craftsman), and a monochrome ink painting, (Suiboku-ga), reflecting the tie detail on the base of Diakoku’s money bag.

Condition: Remarkably good with light scratches from gentle wear.  “As is" original condition, and commensurate with age.

NOTE: Daikoku is regarded not only as the patron of farmers, businessmen and allied trades, he is also regarded as a demon chaser. There is a story told that Daikoku, with the aid of one of his messengers, a white rat, chased a demon who had come from hell to carry Daikoku away. Daikoku had used a charm, a sacred branch from a tree in his garden, and through this event, many Japanese believe that this was the origin of hanging branches of greenery over the entrance to houses during New Year’s. Country people regard Daikoku as the God of five cereals, and after harvest time, pay him appropriate homage fro the gathering of their crops.

In the 1710s, Shogunal advisor, Arai Hakuseki worked to make the shogun's court more kingly, or aristocratic, and had the practice of wearing hitatare replaced by the wearing of nôshi. The nôshi was worn by courtiers and emperors when the hitatare was still commoner garb, and so even as late as the Edo period, it still bore a stronger connotation of aristocracy or royalty, thus worn by this God.