The Kappa

Kappa Netsuke
Kappa Netsuke
Kappa Netsuke
Kappa Netsuke
Kappa Netsuke



Type: Netsuke

Sold. UK, private collection.

Materials: Red deer antler. Mammoth tusk, amber, honey horn, jet, mother-of-pearl inlay.

Dimensions: 45×45×38 mm.

Weight: 38.6 g.


The Kappa netsuke is carved in red deer antler.

The Kappa is a Japanese mythological creature, or water-sprite. (The literal translation "the child of water"). Kappa are always, only male. They are a certain hybrid of frog and terrapin, with a head that has a hollow in the saucer form on the crown that must always have water in it. If water in this hollow dries out, the Kappa will die. Also, Kappa love cucumbers.

I tried to use the natural form of a crown of the deer antler in the Flowing brooks technique. I tried to extract this magical creature, having taken away a minimum of the material from the source piece. I am very satisfied with this result - I can see a really ancient, mystical monster!

The eyes of the Kappa are inlaid with jet. The water on the head is inlayed with mother-of-pearl.

The bottom himatoshi hole is inlayed with mammoth tusk. The eyes of the dragonfly are carved from mother-of-pearl, the wings are from honey horn.

The signature is at the bottom, in the amber mounting.