A rare stag antler netsuke of Ikkaku Sennin carrying Senda Bunin (also known as the lady from Benares) derived from the Noh play titled ‘Ikkaku Sennin’, written by Komparu Zembo Motoyasu (1453 – 1532). Ikkaku Sennin is a one-horned hermit who has captured the Dragon kings and kept them from letting rain fall from the sky. In the Noh-drama he is seduced by the beautiful lady Senda Bunin and eventually loses all his power, thus freeing the dragon kings. In this netsuke he is depicted carrying the lady on his back, symbolizing the power she has over him. His expression is quite grim as he is using both hands to hold her on his back, while she looks rather joyous. Both of them are wearing mugwort leaf cloaks, typical of Sennin, incised with cloud-patterns. Good and irregular himotoshi on the reverse.
HEIGHT 9.8 CM
Condition: The patina is slightly worn, and one foot is repaired with ivory - otherwise good condition
Provenance: British private collection