Shuzan polychrome hinoki (cypress wood) netsuke

18th century

Sozuka Baba

height 10.1 cm

the hag Sozuka Baba grips a long staff as she turns to one side, her face pulled into a demoniacal grin and her bulging eyes staring wildly, her straggly hair falls over her mugwort cape and she wears a simple robe over fur leggings, a toad crawls over her shoulder as she attempts, with little success, to disguise herself as Gama Sennin, signed Shuzan

This repulsive inhabitant of the underworld was believed to devour the bodies of deceased children, and is typically depicted with a large head, staring eyes and straggling long hair.

Ex Marcel Lorber Collection
Ex Emiel Veranneman Collection

The London Netsuke Committee, Contrasting Styles, London 1980, p. 59, no. 125
Sotheby's London, Netsuke and Other Japanese Works of Art from the Collection of the late Marcel Lorber, June 12, 1986, no. 99
Eskenazi, Japanese netsuke, ojime and inro from a private European collection, London, June 1998, no. 36
Expressions of Style: Netsuke as Art, Scholten Japanese Art, New York, August 2001, no. 41


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
October 21, 2021

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