Okimono “Mokugyo and mice”
Meiji, 19-20th century
Signature : Masakatsu
Suzuki Masakatsu (1839-1899)
H: 11cm, L: 23cm
A wonderful wooden object. The sculpture is extremely fine, to the hair of the mice.
Mouse by nature make a nest at a narrow space or hollow. Mokugyo, a fish-shaped wooden drum used in a Buddhist temple is hollow inside, and it seems that the mice tend to make their nest even now. There is no symbolic sense for this combination, however seven mice around and in the mokugyo seem forming a family.
Suzuki Masakatsu was a son of the famous netsuke master carver, Suzuki Naomasa (1815-1890). He succeeded the family business and became Masanao the 2nd. It is said that his technique was as good as his father who was really famous as a great master of netsuke for his fine carving.