19th century netsuke of a man on his knees vigorously cleaning with a stiff brush the Japanese character KOKORO (heart) that forms the base of the netsuke. Netsuke conveys the moral advise to purify your own heart. Made out of walrus tusk - unusual material for the subject - for some reason this model is always carved in wood. Excellent carving, wonderful facial expression, beautiful depiction of his hair and textile patterns, great patina. Signed TOMOMASA on the bottom - for information on the artist see NETSUKE & INRO ARTISTS AND HOW TO READ THEIR SIGNATURES by George Lazarnick, p.1156. Length 1 1/16 inches.