unsigned wood netsuke

18th century

standing oni holding basket of beans

height 3 1/8 in., 8 cm

boldly carved, standing with one leg raised while holding a basket of beans at his right shoulder, and a sack in his left hand, a cloth draped over his horns barely conceals their presence, unsigned

This netsuke refers to the ritual exorcism associated with the lunar New Year and setsubun (lit. 'seasonal divide', most commonly the first day before spring). During the ritual, known as tsuina, soybeans are scattered while chanting oni-yarai (from harau, lit. to cleanse or purify) to expel any demons from the household. In this model, the oni carries the beans himself, perhaps in an attempt to avoid the ritual.

another view


Scholten Japanese Art is open Monday - Friday, and some Saturdays by appointment only

Contact Katherine Martin at
(212) 585-0474 or email
to schedule a visit between 11am and 4pm preferably for no more than two individuals at a time.
Visitors are asked to wear face masks and practice social distancing at their discretion.

site last updated
December 1, 2022

Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475