Otei, one of the Seven Lucky Japanese Gods. Carved in a high quality. High-aged, renown yew wood, overlaid with a traditional oils. Representing, Hotei, the god of happiness and good fortune.
Carved in a Yew wood; done in a traditional Ichii-itto-bori Technique to highlight the rich grains. Ichii-itto-bori carving is a woodcraft technique that involves carving yew wood using only chisels, and was developed by a netsuke master, Matsuda Sukenaga. Matsuda was from the Hida region of Japan. Ichii-itto carving is characterized by a fine grain, due to the growth rings of the yew tree which are very fine. Carving techniques inherited by craftsmen of this area date to the 5th and 6th centuries, with wood carving in the Hida province being conceived and produced by a group known as the Artisans of Hida.At one period in time, these craftsmen were involved in construction work in Kyoto, in which Itto bori-style carving was employed in temple architecture, statue carvings (Buddha). Today, the wood from the precious Ichii Japanese Cedar (Cryptomeria), tree is still used to make items for the Emperors coronation ceremony. The origin of the name of the tree, Ichii, is from a story told concerning the Heiji Emperor. About 800 years ago, when the Emperor was presented with a Yew wood carving, he greatly appreciated the superior quality of material (Ichii) and the exemplary craftsmanship. The wood so out-shined other wood products that the Emperor gave the tree the bureaucratic status called Shoichii, the highest title (later its academic name became formally Ichii). At the end of the Edo Period (1868), Sukenaga Matsuda was considered the Japanese Van Gogh because of the sharp cuts he created in his amazing Itto bori-style carvings. Matsuda established the unique craft of Ichii Itto bori (single cut yew-wood carving) in netsuke, by using 40-50 different kinds of chisels in which the wood, after carving, was never stained, (only oil-finished), so as to emphasize the unparalleled beauty of the yew grain.
Matsuda became a mentor to many wood carvers as represented in this piece. This mask is approximately from the 1960s-70s given the fine carving and attention to details, and general appearance and age and style of cord.
Lovely aesthetics including the over-sized "Buddha" earlobes. Approximately 21cm (8 1/4") long and 18.5cm (7 1/4") wide. Some of my masks from my collection are posted.
Check out my other items. The item "Japanese/Japan fine art! Carved Yew Wood Buddha (Hotei) Mask Ichii-itto-bori" is in sale since Sunday, June 29, 2014.This item is in the category "Home & Garden\Home Décor\Masks". The seller is "maskmonger" and is located in Freeport, Maine. This item can be shipped worldwide.