Depicting the thunder god Raijin carrying his son piggyback. The design is bold and powerful, dictated by the restrictions placed on the artist by the thick triangular shape of this precious material, and the artist has managed masterfully! Raijin has a large, powerfully carved head, facing up and giving the design a powerful upwards trajectory imbued with movement from one of Raijin’s raised, clawed feet. His son Raitaro is hanging over his shoulder, one leg trailing down his father’s back, and he is grimly facing straight forward, giving the juxtaposition of the individual expression a powerful dynamic. Most interestingly perhaps and presenting us with an enigma (as Gabor Wilhelm put it in his article), are the two drumsticks Raijin is holding, which resemble fish carcasses with their heads still attached. The himotoshi in the back are perfectly placed to ensure the netsuke hangs correctly from the obi.
HEIGHT 7.2 cm
Condition: Very good condition with expected age cracks and spots of honey patina.
Provenance: The Gabor Wilhelm Collection.