Imai Oshin (1880-1951)

Kyoto

A stag antler okimono in the form of a three-sectioned lotus tuber (renkon), the uppermost section broken off to reveal the characteristically pierced core of the vegetable. A leaf, yet to unfurl, sprouts from the flared knuckle , while two growth tips have formed at the base. 

The lotus is a well known symbol of purity in Buddhism, its leaf and flowers floating on the surface of water, while below its roots are submerged in the stagnant waters of earthly desire. Beauty is achieved by rising above attachment to material things.

With signed tomobako and wrapped in a blue cloth with Oshin’s red stamp. Signed: Oshin to

Oshin gained renown in his carvings of sceptres, for okimono and trays for the Sencha tea ceremony, which enjoyed a boom of popularity in the early years of the 20th century, until traditional life was changed forever by the Second World War.

Length: 28.6cm