19th century netsuke of a bamboo shoot containing a hollow section with anabori (cavern carving) of the Seven Sages of the bamboo grove looking at an open scroll. (see the detail on the first photo), The inside is almost impossible to photograph, but all the sages are there, need a flashlight even to see them. Very clever joke on the usual depiction of the sages being placed among bamboo stalks, not inside them. Excellent depiction of the shoot structure, the bottom perfectly imitates the marks left by a saw used to cut off the shoot, beautifully shaped himotoshi, superb patina, old age lines. Signed in 2 reserves on the bottom: have not been able to read the shorter one, the longer one appears to read SHINYOSHIYUKI (another possible reading is Tetsuyoshi kore, meaning “this is Tetsuyoshi”). There is a netsuke of the same subject signed Shinyoshiyuki in the Honolulu Museum of art. Very pleasant to handle. Length 3 5/16 inches.