This netsuke references a legend in which the octopus-physician to Ryujin, the Dragon King of the Sea, prescribes a monkey’s liver to heal the King’s daughter. The octopus was sent to overpower a monkey, however in this netsuke the monkey has outwitted the octopus (tako) and trapped him under a mortar. The octopus is visibly annoyed by this, and the monkey is joyously screaming, his entire body in movement with the left hindleg kicking outwards. The head of the tako is very well-crafted with large inlaid eyes. The monkey, with fine fur and inlaid eyes is carved in the characteristic style of the artist, whose signature is found behind the monkey on the mortar, MASATAMI 正民.
HEIGHT 2.7 cm
Provenance: European private collection.
Condition: Excellent condition.