19th century boxwood netsuke of an old woman in rags and torn straw hat sitting on a log with a basket in her hand. Netsuke represents famous Japanese poetess Ono no Komachi (who was a court beauty with a notoriously cold heart) in her old age as a poor and lonely woman sitting on sotoba (temporary grave post) begging for food and shelter. Excellent carving with wonderful detailing - see her face and bony legs, woven basket and post texture, superb staining and patina. Signed MINKOKU on the bottom - for information on this wonderful carver see NETSUKE & INRO ARTISTS AND HOW TO READ THEIR SIGNATURES by George Lazarnick, p. 765. Height 1 1/4 inches.