19th century netsuke of poet Hitomaro wearing his official coat and ritual hat, leaning on a low table thoughtfully contemplating the world as if seeking inspiration for one of his poems. Kakinomoto no Hitomaro was a famous poet and aristocrat of the late Asuka Period (7th/8th centuries), and is considered one of the Thirty Six Poetry Immortals of Japan. Wonderful carving with great intense face, excellent staining, wear and patina. Signed RYOKOSAI on the bottom - the artist is listed on p. 893 of NETSUKE & INRO ARTISTS AND HOW TO READ THEIR SIGNATURES by George Lazarnick. Height 1 1/16 inches.