Tomokazu ivory netsuke

(Kyoto and Gifu, mid 18th-mid 19th cent.)

oni and club 'brush rest' type netsuke

length 1 7/8 in., 4.8 cm

a powerful oni clad in short pants reclines while supporting himself with his right arm, he looks upward and seems to be pushing himself up as he lifts his club with his left hand; his well-defined face is expressive and his gaze is intense ; signed on the underside within a slightly irregular oval reserve, Tomokazu, early 19th century

This is a somewhat unusual model for an oni. As a subject, oni should be a rather serious matter, as they are Buddhist demons that carry out the punishments meted out by Emma-O, The King of Hell, on the souls of sinners. However, in Japanese art oni, are frequently portrayed in some sort of amusing or compromising situation. This rising oni appears to be rather intent on his purpose and not to be trifled with.

another view and signature


Scholten Japanese Art is open Monday - Friday, and some Saturdays, 11am - 5pm, by appointment.

Contact Katherine Martin at
(212) 585-0474 or email
to schedule a visit.

site last updated
August 15, 2019

Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475