Project Description

Wood Netsuke of a Rakugo-ka performer, traditionally attributed to Garaku

He dances improbably balancing on a single geta, and ivory mask of a woman attached to the back of his head.  His kimono is decorated with gold lacquer whorls, his obi with gold and silver kirigane, and a lacquered bokuto is thrust into his belt behind

Well carved signature Garaku.  Circa 1850 

Height: 6.2 cm

​Despite its distinguished provenance and history, I ​still question whether this is by Garaku, as it seems so uncharacteristic, even though there is considerable technical skill in evidence

Provenance: Madeline R. Tollner, sold in her sale, 1954, lot 89

Elly Nordskog, Thousand Oaks CA

Exhibited: Honolulu, 4th INCS Convention, ​Commanding Assemblage, no. 57


The netsuke is discussed by Raymond Bushell in the Questions & Answers of JINCS 4/3, p. 48, in which he suggests that the role being played is that of a fox wife

​​​JINCS, 9/1 (1981), p. 41, illustrated

​Lazarnick, ​Netsuke and Inro Artists …, p. 396, illustrated