19th century wooden netsuke carved as seated Tanuki (badger) with its mouth wide open, beating with his paws on his extended belly as on a drum. In Japanese folklore tanuki is a notorious trickster: he drums with his paws on his large belly (tanuki no hara tsuzumi), imitating the sounding of gongs in temples and inns, and leading tired travelers astray in the darkness. Superbly carved, great sense of volume, extraordinary face with well captured insidious expression and crisply carved individual teeth, eyes are inlaid with silver, excellent depiction of its fur. Beautiful wear, great patina consistent with age. Height 1.25 inches.