This is a superbly carved, late 19th Century, wood netsuke depicting a seated cross-legged man, his chin rested on his folded arms, with an anxious look on his face, as he receives the Moxa treatment. The man has a tobacco pouch with coral inlays, a pipe holder, and a kagamibuta coral inlaid netsuke resting on his folded legs. Curiously, the man also sports a black and red coral dot inlays on his left and right shoulders, respectively. A nice and unique touch by the carver.
Netsuke is signed Sozan, a So School carver, follower of Joso, on the rug where the man is seated.
The artist has used a wonderful mix of wood, and other natural materials and colors to create a very realistic representation of a character and objects that were popular during the time and place represented by this piece. Outstanding preserved condition. Netsuke measures 1.10 square inches (2.8 sq cm) wide on the bottom, and 1.38 inches (3.5cm) tall.
NOTE: A reference of Sozan and his signature may may be found in page 1043 of George Lazarnick's book: 'Netsuke & Inro Artists, and How to Read Their Signatures", 1982 edition.