Unsigned

18th century

A large and bold tobori (Chinese-style carving) netsuke depicting an oni seated on a rocky base. One three-clawed hand is rests on his raised knee, while the other is braced against the ground as he leans slightly forward. His muscular limbs bulge with power and short horns sprout from his massive head. His expression is at once fierce and comical, the eyes bulging from under curling brows, while the wide gash of his mouth is full of sharp teeth.

Height: 5.1cm

Similar example:
Earle, Joe, An Introduction to Netsuke, Victoria and Albert Museum, 1980, p.23, pl. 27
Earle describes the V&A example as being probably a parody of Handaka Sonja, who is frequently depicted in this pose seated on a rock. He comments that the combination of the sinister and the ridiculous are a feature of Buddhist sculpture in Japan and that the exaggerated musculature “resembles the hyperrealistic manner of the masters of the Kamakura period (1185-1392)