Shugyoku – Seated Daruma

Osaka, circa 1850

An ivory model of Daruma seated with his right hand resting on a raised knee as he sternly contemplates a daruma doll netsuke attached to his tobacco pouch. The Zen patriarch wears a robe embellished with a scrolling design that falls open to reveal his bony chest and swollen stomach. His expression betrays a rueful annoyance at being depicted as a round-bottomed tumbler doll. The popular shape of a Daruma doll echoes the sentiment of okiagari, that of falling down and getting up again, symbolising perseverancein order to succeed. The eye pupils are painted in black sumi-e ink.

The carving style and signature suggest that this artist was closely associated with Hidemasa.

Signed in an irregular reserve: Shugyoku (Hidetama)

Height: 3.4cm