Bronze yatate with Hannya mask and shogi king

Hishaku-gata style yatate made of bronze with light brown patina. The hishaku-gata style was developed at the beginning of the Edo period, in the 17th century. It is characterized by an ink compartment (sumi tsubo) in the shape of a ladle. Here, the ink compartment  is decorated with a Hannya mask and a piece of shogi “king” (ôshô, 王将). Round end tip.
Hanny is in Japanese folklore a vengeful ghost of a woman. This kind of demon (oni) is often present in Noh theater. In the play Aoi no Ue dating from the Heian period (794-1185), the jealous Rokujô is defeated by the recitation of the sûtra of Hannya, recommended to exorcise the demon-women.
Shogi is a traditional Japanese abstract combinatorial board game. Although its current form was established in the 16th century, it was introduced in Japan in the 8th century, during the Nara period. It may have originated in the Central Asian basin. Played between two players, the goal is to take the opponent’s king.

Yatate is a travel writing kit used in Japan from the second half of the 13th century (Muromachi period, 1333-1568) to the beginning of the 20th century. It is part, like the inrô, of the sagemono: something that can be attached to the obi (belt). It consists of an ink compartment (sumi tsubo) and a case for the brush. Towards the end of the Edo period (1604-1868), the brush case was connected to the ink compartment and also served as a netsuke to be attached to the belt.
Calligraphy requires many instruments such as brush, ink stone, water cup, which are found in the writing box called suzuribako. In order to be transportable, the yatate was developed for itinerants like warriors, pilgrims, travelers or merchants.

Japan – Edo period (1612-1868)
Height: 1.6 in. (4.5 cm) – Length: 8.7 in. (22.5 cm) – Width: 1.9 in. (5 cm)