Antique Ivory Brooch Carving of Okina | Artist: Shosai Tsuda | Meiji Period

Sale price$225.00

Dimensions: 2-1/8”l x 1-1/2”w x 1/2” thick

The Okina, the happy old man of wisdom and joy, is a distinguished character in many Noh dramas. It is exceptionally detailed from the rounded eyebrows, expressive open slits for his eyes, the abstract pattern of the deeply carved wrinkles around the forehead and cheeks. It has a soft smile of the deity symbolizing the country and the world at peace, bountiful harvests, long lives, and prosperity of the current and the future generations. His chin has a long beard flowing to the other side, and makes him easily recognizable. Okina is unique in that it is the only performance in which the actor puts on the mask after he has appeared on stage. 

Condition: This beautifully detailed ivory brooch is light to wear but quite large, in perfect original condition, beautifully patinated, with a 1900s "barrel clasp" on the back, (This type of fastener gets its name from the tiny barrel that is found on one end of the metal attachment to lock it in place), with the signature of the artist, (Shosai Tsuda), who is from Taurumachi, Osaka and lived from 1878-1928.

NOTE: Noh, is a major form of classical Japanese dance-drama that has been performed since the 14th century and the most cherished traditional art forms, a musical poetic type of state drama. Developed by Kan'ami and his son Zeami, it is the oldest major theatre art that is still regularly performed today which remains elegant, intense, subtle, and ephemeral all at once, and has some remarkable costumes depicting centuries of folk lore.