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Neil Holton Japanese Art

Moxa Remedy

A wood figure of a male wearing only a fundoshi (loin cloth).

Seated bent over, he grips the inner thigh with both hands. Huge tension exists all over his body, the neck is taut, the face contorted and even his toes curl.

The reason for this discomfort is the poor fellow is an arthritis sufferer and his symptoms are being treated with an application of moxa. This treatment used for thousands of years is the direct application of a pellet of mugwort leaves to the affected area.

Our artist has displayed where the pellet was applied by inserting a small ivory inlay to the knee.

Signed: Mutei. E. 19th Century. Edo School. (Artist mentioned in Netsuke. by Neil K. Davey)