Suzuki Tokoku – wood manju

manju

A two-part wood manju showing a bat flying through the night sky. The round form of the manju also represents the moon, and the light reddish wood of the wings suggests the lunar light glowing through the diaphanous membrane. This contrasts with the ebony inlay of the creature’s body. The body of the manju is fastidiously carved to imitate tankin (hammered metal). On the reverse sparsely etched lines suggest a branch of weeping willow in a style very reminiscent of the celebrated metal artist Kano Natsuo, who was nominated as a court artist by the Teishitsu Gigei-in, established in 1890. The eyes are inlaid in gold and the himotoshi is ringed in green-stained stag antler.

Signed in incised characters: Tokoku

Tokyo, circa 1890

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