19th century mixed metal and wood netsuke depicting Kanzan and Jittoku reading an open scroll. According to a legend, Kanzan and Jittoku lived in a kitchen of a Chinese Zen Buddhist monastery and talked nonsensical language, which some took as a sign of them being enlightened.. Superb quality metalwork with inlays of gold and silver, extraordinary faces, the best piece of Japanese metalwork that I ever had. Hardwood body with beautiful natural grain patterns, one himotoshi is lined with ivory, very pleasant patina. Signed ISHIYAMA SANMI MOTOTADA (Ishiyama Third Rank of Honor Mototada) on the side of the metal plate. Ishiyama Mototada (1672-1734) was a metalsmith of Kyoto Goto School as well as an accomplished member of the Kano School of painting and a prolific composer of haiku. Ultimate metalsmith’s accomplishment. Length of the metal part is 1 3/16 inches, total length 1 3/4 inches.