Broadcast on November 19, 2015
Available until March 31, 2029
The wooden monkey was carved at the end of the 19th century. It sits on a rock with its body turned sharply to the right, gazing skyward and gripping some feathers in its left hand. It has fought with an eagle and the bird has flown away. The statue combines extraordinary power and finesse. Even the fur that covers its body is carved differently for each body part. The statue is over a metre tall and wide and 76 centimetres deep. It was made by Takamura Koun, a sculptor of Buddhist images, and displayed at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. Japanese sculptors had mostly been producing wooden Buddhist images until then. This monkey was a representative work of a period in which Japan was discovering the large, realistic statues of the West and Japanese sculpture had begun to change.