Frog on a water lily

Frog on a water lily and a lotus root at the base. The whole is in bronze with a dark brown patina.

In the Japanese bestiary, the frog has a special place, carrying positive values. Both the frog and the toad, called kaeru, come back every year, no matter how far away they are from the pond where they were born. The word Kaeru is a synonym for “coming home”. It is the protective animal for travelers and the symbol of hospitality. Its effigy is present on door hammers or gongs placed at the entrance of some houses and hotels.

The frog also has the power to attract wealth. This fact dates back to the time of feudal Japan, when tax collectors were recognizable by the netsuke in the shape of a toad or frog that they wore on their belt.

This frog can refer to a Japanese species: the Rana japonica. We find at the level of its eardrums, a dark brown spot and at the level of its back of the fine and rectilinear bulges. It is known to have a translucent skin. It is found in the islands of Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu in Japan and in the south of China.

It resides in temperate and flooded environments such as marshes, meadows or agricultural land. The nenufars are present in the marshes, that’s why the Rana japonica is represented on a nenufar.

Japan – Meiji period (1868-1912)

Height: 3.3 in. (8.5 cm) – Length: 2.4 in. (6 cm) – Width: 2.6 in. (6.5 cm)