BRONZE BUDDHAWOOD BUDDHASTONE BUDDHAJAPANESE NETSUKE
    
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Monk with Mokugyo Netsuke

Antique Japanese Netsuke
Weary Zen Monk
Carrying Huge Mokugyo

Signature: unsigned, Circa: 19th Century
H. 1.5 in.(4cm), W. 1.75in.(4.5cm), D. 1 in.(2.5cm)
Condition: excellent!

This compelling netsuke depicts a wizened Zen Buddhist Monk carrying an oversized mokogyu. The mokogyu, a traditional percussion instrument of Chinese origins, is used in meditation rituals, particularly those in the tradition of Mayahana and Zen Buddhism. It is said each time the wooden fish is hit, sutras are emitted through the mouth, for those who have the ears to hear. This monk's face is shrunk with time. His mouth, depicted in a straight line, is toothless. His cheekbones are high and the dome of his skull, covered with a distinct stubble of hair; he appears weighted and deep in thought. This netsuke is of a quality luminous ivory and is beautifully aged. Its triangular design appears to be functionally tactile, it's simplicity in design masked many fine details-- such as the deeply textured mokogyu, two distinct strands with feathered tassels, and carved through hands and rope between his knees. Though unsigned, the netsuke is undoubtedly carved by a master carver of the late Edo period.

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