Kokusai - stag antler manju

Asakusa, circa 1860

A stag antler manju netsuke in the form of a stylised squashed shishi incense burner. The creature’s mouth is opened in a wide grimace that displays its teeth and an impressive pair of incisors. The underside exposes the porous cancellus and a pleasingly tactile ‘dent’ caused by the natural surface of the antler.

Paul Moss’s opus Kokusai the Genius (London, 2017) records 3 examples based on this design, but each with short legs and standing on a base (vol.II, pp.108-111).

Signed in a double-bordered circular cartouche: Koku
Diameter: 4.2cm

Signature Kokusai