19th century netsuke carved as a theatrical mask of a SHOJO - mythical creatures living near the sea who are particularly fond of sake. Wonderful quality carving on ichii (Japanese yew wood) with clever use of wood texture to add to the charm of the piece, that being typical for the Hida school of netsuke carvers. Very nice tranquil face, beautiful staining and patina, old losses by its left eyebrow and on the right upper side on the back as can be seen on photos. Signed SUKENOBU on the back bar - this Hida school artist was a student of Sukenaga and is listed on p. 1048 of NETSUKE & INRO ARTISTS AND HOW TO READ THEIR SIGNATURES by George Lazarnick. Height 1 1/2 inches.