Group of Rats Netsuke
Date: Edo era, c. 1800
Created: Japan
Medium: Elephant ivory with inlaid horn eyes.
Dimensions: 4.9 cm.

The subject matter of this netsuke a group of rats.  It was bought by the Harris’ in Japan in 1897. The rat is the second sign of the Eastern zodiac and is also known as the messenger of the god of prosperity, Daikoku, for if a storehouse is full of rice, rats and mice will be present.[19]