A large and dynamic composition of Ii no Hayata slaying the nue, in wood.
The hero has the nue pinned, his knee firmly placed on the back of the creature. His free arm is raised ready to strike the fatal blow. The nue looks up, ferocious, mouth open with eyes fixed on the blade.
A nue is a mythical beast with the head of a monkey, body of a tiger and a snake’s head at the tip of the tail. In our netsuke, the monkey’s head has long flowing hair rolling down onto the tiger’s body. The tail is a complete snake, scales beautifully carved and inked. The body twists around the hero’s saya, its head doubled back, looking down with one eye double inlaid.
The himotoshi is formed in a stovepipe arrangement, with a large hole to the underside and smaller exit in the base of Ii no Hayata’s back.
Signed, Shoraku, in an oval reserve (Osaka)
Early 19th century
Height: 4.4cm Width: 3.6cm Depth: 3.5cm
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