This is an excellently hand-carved netsuke depicting a Japanese Legend Hero wrestling, and about to strike a fierce Shishi. He holds a long ribbon tie that loops over the tail of the dog and wraps around his arms ending in a loop at his waist. The man has a determined expression and his fits are clenched. The Shishi has fine detail to its paws ,its fierce face and fluffy tail. Signed Nagasada on the sole of the Hero’s right shoe, a carver who worked in the late 18th / Early 19th century, according to George Lazarnick in his book: ‘Netsuke and Inro Artists, and How to Read their Signatures’, page 818
Netsuke measures 1.44 inches (3.6cm) wide, and 1.58 inches (4.0cm) tall. This exquisite miniature sculpture is in outstanding condition, as may be seen in the posted photos.