A rare two-color bronze statue of Kintaro, the legendary child folklore hero, here in a sumo match with a huge bear. Kintaro wears a loin cloth as he exhibits an Ottsuke (arm clamp-down) with bent elbows, thrusting up into his opponent’s armpit, thus blocking the huge animals attack and stopping it from effectively using his arms. Kintaro is highlighted in a copper-brown patina while the bear is dark brown, almost black, with neatly incised detail to its fur. The artist signature is on the boy’s cloth, the kanji characters reading HIROMITSU saku.
SIZE 29 x 26.5 cm
WEIGHT 8.8 kilograms
Condition: Superb condition with only minor wear and traces of use.
Provenance: From an English collector.
The legends agree that even as a toddler, Kintaro was active and indefatigable, plump and ruddy, wearing only a bib with the kanji for “gold” on it. His friends were mainly the animals of Mounts Kintoki and Ashigara. He was also phenomenally strong, able to smash rocks into pieces, uproot trees, and bend trunks like twigs. Several tales tell of Kintaro’s adventures, fighting monsters and oni, beating bears in sumo wrestling, and helping the local woodcutters fell trees.