Late nineteenth century Meiji Period wooden okimono showing Setsubun.

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A late nineteenth century carved wooden Meiji Period okimono showing Setsubun.

This outstanding and beautifully carved okimono was produced in Japan in the late nineteenth century during the Meiji Period (1868 - 1912). Its magnificent free flowing form shows a Priest during the ritual of Setsubun, which occurs the day before the arrival of Spring. Beans are thrown at resident Oni, or minor demons, to drive out the evils of the past year and to allow good luck to enter for the new one. This carving is of the highest quality, with both the Priest and the Oni at his feet having eyes inlaid in horn. It is signed to the base. The wood is of excellent colour and patination.

   This charming okimono (decorative carving) stands 14 cm high, is 6.5 cm at its widest point and 8 cm at its deepest. (Measurements approximate). It is in excellent condition, showing light wear appropriate to its age and substance. It has no damage and no restoration.