19th century netsuke in kagamibuta (mirror lid) form with metal top decorated with a mother kappa walking in a falling rain by a stream leading her son by the hand and holding a tray with what looks like a large chink of tofu. The son is wearing a tattered straw hat and holding a sheaf of paper strips in his hand. Kappas are mythical river goblins with the body of a tortoise, the limbs of a frog, and the head of a monkey. They derive their supernatural powers from a cavity filled with sea water on the top of their heads. To overcome its enormous strength, one must bow to the kappa, and always-polite creature will bow back, spilling the magic fluid from its cavity and losing its power. Wonderful crisp work, perfectly captured moment (mother must be telling the kid a tantalizing story, see his mouth open in amazement), beautiful depiction of the hat and clothes. Gold and silver inlays, great patina, very nice feel of age, fixed in original bowl, silk cord for hanging, old paper collection number on the back. Metal disc diameter 1 5/16 inches, bowl diameter 1 11/16 inches.