Izumi Sukeyuki

Omi province (Shiga), circa 1910

A large carved wood okimono of a toad, its head slightly raised and limbs poised, the rear right leg braced and ready to leap. The creature’s warty skin is skilfully carved with pimples of varying sizes, while the venomous parotid glands are stippled with tiny pierces holes. The underside is carved with a scattering of autumn leaves, including maple leaves and samara (dry winged fruit), gingko leaves and pine needles. The hooded eyes are of reverse-painted rock crystal.

An inhabitant of the town of Bamba in Omi province (present day Shiga province), Shigeyuki was a celebrated carver of butsudan (family Buddhist altars). He encountered the carving of the Hida school master on a visit to Takayama (where they specialised in frogs, toads and reptilian subjects) and was inspired to follow their lead in carving similar pieces. He became very well known for his accomplished work, influencing a whole generation of Shiga craftsmen.*
*I am grateful to William Knospe and Jeffery Cline of Kagedo for this biographical information.

Similar example: http://kagedo.com/wordpress/g/izumi-sukeyuki-toad-okimono/

Signed: Sukeyuki to

Length: 21.0cm x wide: 14.0 cm

Izumi Sukeyuki
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