"We should keep in mind that Erwin Baelz who was the doctor of Emperor Meïji collected netsuke and was fond of skeletons. That might have accounted for a number of them. Skeletons as ghosts are rare in Japan. The most famous is the Kuniyoshi’s in Soma no Furudairi, but it does not suggest a death allegory as in Europe. Generally ghosts are shown degradating but not to the skeleton state. They are skinny, without feet and with flowing untidy hair and showing a debilitated person. There are a number of books on wandering souls (gaki, ghosts looking like little naked figures) and on hell, but we are far from the European model and the Japanese do not have the fascination for death such as the Mexicans have."
- for academic discussion purposes only, from:
From time to time, Mr. Ducros will post on this Forum - [i:13w96sru]let's hope he sees yours and comments.[/i:13w96sru] I like (if 'like' if the right word for enjoying the aesthetics of something which is gruesome looking) it very much. Beautiful wood too.