19th century okimono style netsuke depicting Shoki the Demon Queller playing a flute and an oni crouching behind him with a club. The subject is a very unusual take on a story from the 13th century compilation “Tales Gleaned from Uji” about Fujiwara no Yasumasa (958-1036), a musician at the Heian court, and his brother Kidomaru, who had become an outlaw rather than serve under the powerful warrior Raiko. Yasumasa plays his flute while traveling home at night, and as Kidomaru approaches to slay him for his splendid robe, Kidomaru is stopped entranced by Yasumasa's flute-playing. Wonderful early carving with great detailing of their faces with inlaid pupils, hairy body of the oni, beautiful flow of Shoki’s sleeves and patterns of his robe. Well captured mood of the scene, himotoshi formed by oni’s right horn, very nice patina. Height 3 5/16 inches.