Netsuke - Seated Oni
Netsuke - Seated Oni
Netsuke - Seated Oni
Netsuke - Seated Oni

Netsuke - Seated Oni

A muscular oni, seated holding a vessel in both hands, his eyes wide and teeth gritted, legs pulled up and feet pressed together forming a compact composition. The surface of the wood is nicely worn, displaying a beautiful deep patina. To the underside, the oni’s loincloth forms the bar for the himotoshi.

It has previously been suggested that the vessel the oni holds is a shrine that the oni had stolen from Bishamon Ten. This could be the intended subject, although in all the netsuke I’ve encountered of that subject the oni is on a cloud escaping, or Bishamon himself is present and the shrine looks, well, more shrine-like. If you look into the top of the vessel you can see what appears to be liquid – perhaps our oni is drunk and fears losing his sake, so clings to it with all his might?

Circa 1790


4.6cm tall

3.5cm wide

3.3cm deep

Similar example:

The Julius and Arlette Katchen Collection of Fine Netsuke Part III, lot number 19

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