19th Century, finely hand-carved boxwood netsuke depicting a seated Tanuki, or Japanese Badger (raccoon dog) raising his right paw in order to beat his belly, or distended scrotum as it if were a drum. Pupils made in bronze and inlaid with black horn. Wonderful chimney himotoshi that starts on the bottom, and extends to the left side of his body, between his legss. Signed Minko, with kakihan, on the bottom of the piece.
According to Japanese legend, a Tanuki is a real animal with supernatural powers, as are the fox or a cat. He is a mischievous animal that uses many disguises to deceive or annoy passers-by.
Netsuke measures 1.42 inches (3.6cm) in diameter (on the bottom), and 1.64 inches (4.2cm) tall. It is in excellent condition as you may see in the posted photos.