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Neil Holton Japanese Art


A wood study of an Oni pounding a mortar, the little demon muscular with a growling-grin expression.

The plum wood bears an excellent patina and the Oni has mixed material inlays of ivory, mother of pearl and dark horn.

Mochi, traditionally pounded in a mortar is a cheap mass produced food associated with New Year. Of course, Oni are also associated with being exercised during the New Year festivities. The pounding of Mochi also has a sexual connotation, indeed when a client hired a prostitute, it was muttered in the pleasure quarter, they'll be pounding mochi this evening.

Although signed Sosui, this work is certainly earlier than a So school piece and by the style, treatment and material I would suggest an artist of the Tsu school as a possible creator.

Guide Price - £2,400

5.5cm High