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ZANMAI

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C O N T E M P O R A R Y
N E T S U K E

COLLECTORS  VOICES



WORKS

A selection of Zanmai's works created over the past five years,to be found in private collections, museums and galleries.

Oni zanmai netsuke 1717

Devil (Oni) 
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| 1717 DETAILS

8.8 cm
Boxwood
2017


Three-eyed devil holding a metal rod as symbol of his physical strength, the third eye representing his mental strength. 

Yasei no Koi zanmai netsuke 1718

Wild Carp (Yasei no Koi)
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| 1718  DETAILS

7.7 cm
Boxwood
2017


Carp jumping from the water to escape the grip of a kappa. 

Yume no Mori zanmai netsuke 1721

Night Forest (Yoru no Mori)
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| 1721  DETAILS

10.2 cm
Boxwood
2017


Animals on a tree at night. 

Baku zanmai netsuke 1720

Dreameater (Baku)
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| 1720 DETAILS

3.8 cm
Boxwood
2017


Tapir like mythical animal said to devour bad dreams. Carved as a lucky charm with the characters of “akumu” (bad dream) on its bottom, which the baku is absorbing. 

Shachihoko zanmai netsuke 1719

Shachi (Shachihoko)
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| 1719 DETAILS

5.3 cm
Boxwood
2017

Mythical carp with the head of a lion and the body of a fish. Often found in pairs as protective symbol on rooftops of large buildings, such as castles etc. 

Ryuu zanmai netsuke 1722

Dragon (Ryuu)
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| 1722  DETAILS

5.5. cm
Boxwood
2017 

kappa zanmai 1615

Kappa
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| 1615 DETAILS

11.7 cm
Stag Antler (with amber and coral inlays)

2016

tengu zanmai netsuke 1614

Tengu (Mythological creature)
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| 1614  DETAILS

14 cm
Stag Antler

2016

Musou no Gaikotsu zanmai 1610

Dreaming Skeleton (Musou no Gaikotsu)
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| 1610  DETAILS

13.7 cm
Stag Antler

2016

Sansukumi zanmai 1616

Three-way Deadlock 
(Sansukumi)
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| 1616  DETAILS

5.6 cm
Ivory
2016


Theme based on the balance of power between snake, frog and snail, where each animal is blocking the other.

Shouki zanmai 1507

Demonqueller (Shouki) 
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| 1507  DETAILS

4.2 cm
Boxwood 
2015 

Suisai zanmai 1501

Water Rhino 
(Suisai) 
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| 1501   DETAILS

4.2 cm 
Ivory 
2015


Mythological creature based on an old perception of a rhinoceros (which were unknown in Japan at that time).

Karashishibotan zanmai 1502

Lion and Peony (Karashishibotan)
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| 1502  DETAILS

4.2 cm
Ivory (with buffalo horn
and shell inlays)
2015

Subject based on the relation between the lion and the peony keeping the poisonous insect from the lion.

Hoou zanmai 1503

Phenix 
(Hoou)
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| 1503  DETAILS

8.4 cm
Stag Antler

2015 

Unryu zanmai 1505

Cloud Dragon
(Unryu)
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| 1505  DETAILS

4.6 cm
Ivory
2015


Dragon coming out from the clouds.

Yumemamori zanmai 1506

Baku – Dreamwatcher (Yumemamori)
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| 1506  DETAILS

4.6 cm
Ivory
2015


The Baku is a mythical creature watching over people’s sleep to protect them from bad dreams.

Oni no tsume zanmai 1425

Devil’s Claw
(Oni no tsume)
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| 1425  DETAILS

10 cm 
Stag Antler

2014

Kutsubera Akakuchi zanmai 1413

Shoehorn, Redmouth (Kutsubera, Akakuchi) 
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| 1413 DETAILS

11 cm
Stag Antler

2014 

Jiraiya zanmai 1404

Jiraiya (Ninja Kabuki Character)
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| 1404 DETAILS

Netsuke (Ninja) 3.4 cm
Ojime (Scroll) 1.8 cm Sagemono (Toad) 6.8 cm
Boxwood
2014


Set of 3 objects;
(Ninja hides in giant toad) 

Unagitori Kappa zanmai 1508

Kappa catching an Eel (Unagitori Kappa)
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| 1508  DETAILS

9.8 cm
Stag Antler

2015 

Oroshiya no hitodama zanmai 1312

Oroshia’s Soul (Oroshia no hitodama)
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| 1412  DETAILS

4.5 cm
Stag Antler 

2014


This figure first appeared on ghost picture scrolls of the late Edo and early Meiji period, but the author and origin are unknown today. Apparently, it had a satirical meaning as it put a foreign name (oroshia stands for Russia) into a monster shape.

Otoroshi zanmai 1309

Otoroshi
(Otoroshi)
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| 1309  DETAILS

4.1 cm 
Stag Antler

2013

This subject can be found on a scroll from the mid Edo period (1776) named Hundred Strange Creatures. It is a common depiction of a ghostly creature of that time, but its origin is unknown.

Mehitotsubou zanmai 1423

One-eyed Monk (Mehitotsubou)
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| 1423  DETAILS

5.5 cm
Boxwood

2014

This figure exists since the Edo period and appears on old scrolls and paintings such as "Hundred Fantasy Scrolls" (hyakkaizukan) and “Ghost Stories” (bakemonoemaki or bakemonogatari) often under the name "yokobo". It is also sometimes described as first born child (hitotsumekozou) and shown as a child. 

Kappa zanmai 1211

Kappa 
(Kappa)
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| 1211  DETAILS

3.8 cm
Boxwood

2012

Kappa (lit. river child) is a popular demon known in Japanese folklore since its earliest days and a favorite subject for netsuke carvers in the Asakusa area (a traditional down-town quarter of modern Tokyo). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kappa_(folklore) 

Nagakubi zanmai 1126

Long Neck Ghost  
(Nagakubi)
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| 1126  DETAILS

15.5 cm
Stag Antler

2011 

Nanikuso zanmai 1124

What Shit
(Nanikuso)
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| 1124  DETAILS

4.2 cm
Boxwood

2011

This depiction of a nose picking devil is a design invented by the artist and was published in the periodical Netsuke Past & Present in 2011.