netsukes named after the traditional Japanese confection, are flat and circular
in shape. This beautifully rendered netsuke is spare but profound in its design.
The sake seller depicted here has an accentuated dimensionality that leaps out
of the ivory and a face that conveys unique personality and character. The vendor’s
saki jars swing back and forth as he strides forward. The saki seller wears a
traditional straw raincoat as protection from the elements. On the flipside of
th manju there is a beautiful intricate design that mirrors traditional textile
patterns. This Edo era netsuke is in very good condition. It is not only intriguing
to the eye but highly compelling to the touch.
character of the sake seller is central to the kabuki-noh play “Sukeroku Yukari
no Hatsuzakura". Here a shojo disguises himself as sake creating a comedic drama
of missed identities. In Japan, sake is an integral part of not only festivities
of celebration but is also consumed as part of Shinto purification rituals. Sake
is also often served during the light meal eaten during tea ceremonies. (SD)