Japanese okimono showing Karako playing Bekanko

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Late nineteenth century Japanese okimono showing Karako playing Bekanko.

This charming okimono was carved in Japan towards the end of the nineteenth century. It shows a young boy in the act of playing Bekanko, a game where whoever can frighten the other with the most fiercesome face wins. This child is preparing to cheat, having a Noh theatre mask showing Kitsune on his head, ready to pull down over his face when the other players eyes are closed. In the meantime he sticks out his tongue and starts to pull a face. The carving is of excellent quality, having a reticulated stained pink ivory tonge and the childs sagemono also carved in ivory, to his side.

   This wonderful little carving stands 7 cm high, is 5 cm at its widest point and 5.5 cm at its deepest. (Measurements approximate). There is a tiny crack toward the end of his belt at the reverse of the figure and it is not clear if this tiny blemish is natural or an old repair. The figure overall is in fine condition, showing wear appropriate to its age and substance.