Finely carved Japanese Netsuke Depicting a Kappa laying on top of a Shell.
According to Karl Schwartz, in his book 'Netsuke Subjects', Kappa is a Goblin who lived in rivers, having a body resembling a frog with a carapace like a turtle. Its head is similar to that of a Monkey with a cavity on top which must always be filled with water. It is mischievous and is often in love with young girls.
This wonderful miniature sculpture was carved by Tadami Uno Yukimasa, who was born in 1914 in Gifu City Japan. He goes by the names Yukimasa, Masatomo, and Tomoichi in his carvings. This piece bears his Masatomo signature on the bottom of the shell, near the himotoshi. Netsuke measures two inches (5.1cm) wide, 1.62 inches (4.1cm) deep, and 1.07 inches (2.7cm) tall. It is in excellent condition.