An ivory netsuke of the lantern ghost Oiwa
Late 19th century
H. G. Beasley collection
J. and A. Katchen collection
George Lazarnick (ed.), MCI: The Meinertzhagen Card Index on Netsuke in the Archives of the British Museum, York (Alan R. Liss Inc.: 1986), p. 913
A. Katchen, Netsuke 7, vol.1, Paris (K. R. Publishers, 2010), p. 343, no. K953.
The design is taken from a woodblock print by Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) titled Oiwa-san from the series Hyaku monogatari (One Hundred Ghost Stories) published circa 1832-33. The story tells how Oiwa, a woman murdered by his husband Iemon, seeks revenge appearing at him in many circumstances. In this netsuke, Oiwa appears on the lantern Iemon is using to light his way while trying to escape.