Rather unusual 19th century black soapstone netsuke of a man wearing a grass skirt and holding a club, seated leaning on rockery. Like any dark object does not photograph well. The character represented must be one of 108 heroes of Suikoden - a Chinese book called Shui Hu Chuan (Suikoden in Japanese, The Water Margin in English) was very popular in the capital Edo. It contained numerous tales of an outlaw named Sung-Chiang and his 108 followers. Wonderful expressive face, beautiful patina, great feel of age to the piece. Signed KYOKUZAN on the side - the artist is listed on p. 687 of NETSUKE & INRO ARTISTS AND HOW TO READ THEIR SIGNATURES by George Lazarnick. Wonderful example for a collection of netsuke materials. Height 1 9/16 inches.