A very fine wood netsuke that represents the battle between good and evil. Good is represented by a nio, and evil by a one-horned, three-toed demon. The nio, his face strained and muscles bulging, looks to be at a disadvantage: the demon has both hands firmly gripping his mawashi, lifting all but the tips of his toes off the ground. But as all good Hollywood films have taught us, good never wins easy, good must take the hard road. The nio wraps his left foot around the demon's leg and is ready to trip evil and take the win for the good guys.
Both the nio and demon have their eyes inlaid in tiny dark dots. The himotoshi is formed by the natural opening between the nio's arm and the demon's body.
Unsigned but attributed to Hokkyo Hozan, see supporting information below.
Ex. Karl-Ludwig Kley
Tiny Titans, The sumo netsuke collection of Karl-Ludwig Kley, by Rosemary Bandini
The Baur Collection: Netsuke, Marie-Therese Coullery; Martin s. Newstead - number C 101 - signed example
The Raymond and Frances Bushell Collection Of Netsuke: A Legacy At The Los Angeles County Museum Of Art, number 132, signed example
A larger example by Gyokuzan was published by Paul Moss in Myth, Reality and Magical Transformation: Aesthetics and Connoisseurship in Japanese Netsuke. Paul talks of Hokkyo Hozan, and his work carving these smaller but finer examples of the nio and oni wrestling.
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