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Namazu (Catfish)

Bella Nicol

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I forgot about this fellow. Namazu, is the giant catfish that lives beneath the islands of Japan, thrashing about, and causing great earth quakes. He is also a symbol of rectification, and still used today on the earthquake warning system. Of course, that is just one of my many favorites of Japanese folklore.


I took a great deal of time with Namazu, it was carved from one of the last remaining pieces of sperm whale tooth I had. I always section the tooth into three separate parts: 1) I cut down the centre from the top (not the tip, but the hollow pulp cavity end) and continue the cut until the pulp cavity has almost been bypassed. 2) From where the last cut ended, I will cut horizontally and be left with two separate slabs of tooth, and a solid, pointed bulk of the tooth. By doing this I minimize waste.


Namazu is one of the two slabs, with paua shell and buffalo horn for eye inlay. Thank you for taking the time to look, I should have put him in with the last post.






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