Japanese Antique Ivory Netsuke Carving of Okina | Shosai Tsuda

Sale price$75.00

Dimensions: 1-3/8”h x 1-0”w x 3/8” thick 

Offered is a wonderfully carved Ivory Netsuke representing Okina, the happy old man of wisdom and joy, and a distinguished character in many Noh dramas. It is exceptionally detailed from the rounded eyebrows, expressive open slits for his eyes and the abstract pattern of the deeply carved wrinkles around the forehead and cheeks. He exhibits two circular dots, (Urna) of lighter ivory on his forehead of Buddhist religious significance, and seen as a symbol of enlightenment and directly related to Bodhidharma. It has a happy 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 goatee, (Yagi hi-ge) is wrapped under his chin and onto the back of the carving and is of a lighter Ivory, which is a long flowing beard which 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. On the back are two Himotoshi, (aperture of a netsuke where the cord was fixed with which it was attached to the kimono's sash) of different sizes and the artist's signature, (Shosai Tsuda), who is from Taurumachi, Osaka, and lived from 1878-1928.

Condition: Excellent condition meaning no imperfections are found, with great color untouched patina, and beautifully detailed ivory carving. A wonderful addition to any Netsuke collection and the collector of pieces inspired by the Noh characters.

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