Mouse standing with a hazelnut

Okimono in bronze with brown patina of a mouse standing on its hind legs and holding a nut between its paws.

In Japan, the term nezumi refers to both the mouse and the rat. They are considered the messenger of Daikokuten, the deity of trade and wealth. In the Chinese zodiac, which has been adopted by Shinto in Japan, the rat (or mouse) is the first of the twelve animals, a place which, according to many legends, is due to its cunning and intelligence. The rat and the mouse are also a major theme in Japanese kachō-ga prints and nihonga.

Signed Hata (はた) at the bottom of the nut.

Japan – Meiji Era (1869-1912)
Height : 2.1 in. (5.3 cm) – width : 2 in. (5 cm) – depth : 3 (7.6 cm)