The namazu is a mythological creature, a giant catfish that causes earthquakes when it moves. The only way to calm it is by using a magical double-gourd (hyotan). This netsuke also shows a man, naked except for a loincloth and without the hyotan, his hands laid on the fish, evidently attempting to calm it, but without the gourd a futile endeavor. The namazu’s eyes are inlaid with dark horn, large and appear lurking. Himotoshi on the underside.
LENGTH 4.6 CM
Condition: Good condition, beautiful patina, possibly one eye replaced
Provenance: British private collection