Unsigned

circa 1810

An ivory netsuke of an ama (pearl fishergirl), she glances up with an expression of surprise, brushing her reed skirt over her knee in a gesture of modesty and gripping a billhook in her left hand. Her long wet hair trails over her back and breasts, which hang above her softly rounded stomach.

Similar example:
Bandini, R., In a Nutshell, 2013, pps. 44-45, no. 72

Pearl divers are still active today in the remote Hegura Island. By tradition they are free divers, capable of extended forays into the depths of the sea. In modern times they are equipped with masks, while still eschewing oxygen tanks.

Height: 5.0cm