Early 19th century netsuke of seated Hotei with a karako climbing onto his shoulders. Hotei is an incarnation of Maitreya - the Buddha of the future - and one of the Seven Gods of Good Fortune, the fat and happy God of abundance and good health. Excellent quality detailed carving, great faces, extraordinary depiction of textile patterns. Superb patina turning honey color on the back, netsuke of characteristic early triangular section. Cleverly designed himotoshi going through the back down to a fold of a robe on the bottom. Signed MASAMITSU on the bottom - the artist is listed on p. 714 of NETSUKE & INRO ARTISTS AND HOW TO READ THEIR SIGNATURES by George Lazarnick. Beautiful sculpture by rare artist. Height 1 7/8 inches.