Late Meiji (1890s to 1910s) netsuke of a herd boy playing a flute, a woven basket behind his back, sitting on the back of a resting buffalo. The subject of the netsuke is bokudo - a perfect peace of mind, and one of the stages of a journey towards Buddhahood. Wonderful quality clean carving, great faces, wonderful basket weave and textile patterns. Inlays on the coat, himotoshi are lined with metal, beautiful patina. Signed EIZAN (alternative reading is Nagayama) in cinnabar inlaid rectangular reserve on the bottom - the artist may be Toryusai Eizan. Length 2 1/16 inches.