Late 18th - early 19th century netsuke of a skeleton with a striker in his hand kneeling next to mokugyo (Buddhist temple gong). The subject is a ghost of a late Buddhist priest Danka. Wonderful carving with somewhat puzzled expression on the face of the scull, great depiction of textile patterns on a pillow that the gong is resting on. Beautiful wear, old age lines, warm patina. Signed TOMOCHIKA in an irregular shaped reserve on the bottom - the artist is Tomochika the First as discussed on p. 1148 of NETSUKE & INRO ARTISTS AND HOW TO READ THEIR SIGNATURES by George Lazarnick. Fantastic sculpture. Height 1 5/16 inches.