A monkey lays on his stomach, hand feeling around his back but unable to reach his visitor; the crab has climbed up and sits in the middle of the monkey’s back. To the underside, the himotoshi is formed by one large and one small hole. The ivory, well worn, has taken on a beautiful warm yellow patina.
The Crab and the Monkey, also known as Monkey-Crab Battle (saru kani gassen) is a Japanese folktale. In the story, a sly monkey kills a crab, and is later killed in revenge by the crab’s offspring. Retributive justice being the main theme of the story.
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