Project Description

Ivory Netsuke of Okame

Standing and smiling mischievously with her kimono falling off her shoulders, the front open to expose her rounded breasts and stomach, holding her loosely tied obi with her right hand while she cleans her ear. Well-worn and bearing a warm honey-colored patina

Unsigned. Mid 18th century

Height: 7 cm

Okame, the popular Goddess of Mirth, is a playful deity frequently portrayed as lascivious and suggestive in spite of her comical features. She is credited with luring Amaterasu from a cave in which the Sun Goddess had confined herself by dancing wildly at the cave opening to entertain the other gods. When Amaterasu came forth to see why there was a great laughing and cheering, they closed the opening behind her and thus prevented the sun goddess from retreating again into the darkness of the cave


Scholten Japanese Art Exhibition Catalogue 2000, New York, September 2000, no. 1

Item Location: USA. Due to the material from which this netsuke is carved, it is for sale within the U.S. only

Price: US$4,500