An unusual and large, stained ivory netsuke depicting a long-legged giant, presumably Kochi, carrying Shikaiya Wasobioye on his shoulders, one arm holding the latter by his leg. The bearded giant has a fierce expression, almost appearing like Shoki. He holds a mallet in his left hand, the drum tied to his side. His robe decorated with various patterns, the center with a diamond-like pattern, surrounded by concentric rings and inlaid with four horn ‘buttons’. Amusingly, Wasobioye’s head looks as if it was the crown of the giant’s hat, and his arms enveloped in the robe looking like the brim of this supposed hat. Himotoshi through the reverse.
HEIGHT 9.5 cm
Condition: Very good condition with age-related wear.
Provenance: British private collection.
For an explanation of Wasobioye’s story see Henri L. Joly, Legend in Japanese Art, pp. 553ff.
Auction comparison: A related netsuke was sold at Zacke, Fine Netsuke, Sagemono & Okimono, 27 April 2019, Vienna, lot 160.