commentary: すね犬 (sulking dog)

Hiroi Michiaki: Hmm.

Mrs. Hiroi: That’s a puppy.

Janell Landis: Hehehe.

Hiroi: This one is difficult to explain, isn’t it?

Mrs. Hiroi: Mm… Because the bottom, on the bottom there’s also a painting.

Hiroi: How should I explain this. Umm…. how to explain it… Anyway, when you remove this–

Mrs. Hiroi: Yeah, you can take all of it apart.

Hiroi: The head and this part become a top.

Mrs. Hiroi: The head.

Hiroi: And here, on the bottom, there’s a painting. A tengu and okame** are painted… Ahh…. and, in other words the worries of the world are expressed here. And the sulking dog is thoroughly troubled.

**okame is a popular theme for masks in Japan, often seen in traditional kyogen or dengaku performances and festivals. Okame is an plain-faced woman, featured together here with the tengu probably as symbols of reproduction.

Mrs. Hiroi: Yeah.

Hiroi: He’s very worried.

Janell Landis: (laughs)

Hiroi: And in the case of Japan, this kind of thing is a good omen. Umm… for the prosperity of your family, for example. Lots of things. It’s a very good omen. Explaining it is a little… yeah, it’s a little hard. (laughs) In other words it’s a top that expresses the suffering of the world..


For Japanese, see this page.

For video, see this page.

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