19th century boxwood netsuke carved as an oni wearing a loincloth and standing in ridiculously uncomfortable position as it uses a kanna (carpenter’s plane) to smooth an enormous Buddhist scepter. Very unusual, probably unique take on Oni no Nembutsu subject - a demon who saw the light of Buddhist teachings and became pious. Fantastic carving of his face with inlaid eyes and expression of fierce joy, of straining muscles of his arms and visible anatomy of his back. Wonderful deep brown patina with great sheen to the surface. Signed JUGYOKU on the bottom - Ryukosai Jugyoku (1815-1887) was an excellent carver - for discussion see p. 546 of NETSUKE & INRO ARTISTS AND HOW TO READ THEIR SIGNATURES by George Lazarnick. Wonderful work of art by the master carver. Height 1 5/8 inches.