This is a sweet little Japanese Banko ware nodder doll of a Japanese gentleman - possibly a samurai-sitting at rest. He is holding a fan in his hand and has a relaxed smile on his face. The head comes off and one can see the horizontal wire that extends through the neck so as to enable the head to nod when placed atop the body.
The piece is clearly hand molded as can be seen by the potters fingerprints on the base of the nodder. It was then painted in soft enamel colors. The nodder is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks or restorations - only some wear and light rubbing to the paint from usage. He is 2 inches (5.08 cm) tall by 1 1/4 inches (3.8 cm) wide by 1 1/8" (2.86cm) deep. We date the nodder to the Taisho to early Showa period, circa 1925-1930s.
Nodders, also called nodding figures, are figures with heads (and sometimes hands) that are attached to wires. Any slight movement causes the parts to move up and down. They were made in many countries during the eighteenth, nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries.