Omura Minosuke (known under his go Bashusai Keiun) was born in Kyoto and moved to Uji. He worked predominantly in ivory. This netsuke depicts the annual event of cleaning, polishing and washing the world’s largest Buddha at the Todai-ji temple in Nara. There are a multitude of miniature monks with brushes and buckets. One monk is atop a large ladder dusting of the large Buddha’s nose. Signed KEIUN on the base next to the himotoshi.
HEIGHT c. 5 CM
Condition: Very good condition
Provenance: Collection of Sam Felton, purchased from Nakayama in 1975
Literature: For a very similar netsuke of ‘Cleaning the Nara Daibutsu’ by Keiun see Miriam Kinsey, ‘Contemporary Netsuke’ (Rutland, Vermont and Tokyo, 1977), p. 126, fig. 117.
Auction comparison: A similar netsuke as sold at Bonhams, Asian Art, 21 December 2011, San Francisco, lot 8892.