Bronze Meiji figure of Jurōjin, God of Longevity, with deer and staff


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This charming bronze sculpture group, from Meiji era Japan, depicts the Taoist deity Jurōjin, one of the seven gods of fortune, holding his staff and accompanied by his well-known deer companion.

Originally a figure from Chinese Taoist religion, Jurōjin is popular in the art and culture of Japan, although Taoism itself has had less influence on Japanese cultural and philosophy than other Chinese movements such as Confucianism. He is commonly shown as an old man with knobbly staff, upon which is written the life span of all living things, including all their deeds of good and evil. His deer, sometimes is a stag, is a symbol of longevity, an animal that grows wiser and wiser the longer it lives. 

This group is formed of separate pieces: the god, his deer, and his staff. A beautiful decorative piece, it is an exemplary demonstration of the creativity and pleasing quality of Japanese art in the Meiji period, during which talented craftsmen turned their hands to artistic, rather than military, pursuits. It is signed on the back for 'Houzan  / 60th Birthday Celebration / Osaka wheel production company / from all employess,' indicating that it was at one point an important symbolic gift, and so it could be again.


Country of Origin
Date of Manufacture
Late 19th Century
Late 19th Century
Animal / Animalier, Figurative Art, Japanese Interest, Meiji, Mythological
Black, Metallic


40 cm / 15.7 inches
20 cm / 7.9 inches
11 cm / 4.3 inches


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