"A Japanese lacquered wood okimono of two Sumo (Japanese wrestlers), 16"H incl. the stand, in the intense deciding moment before the execution of the classic "Kawazu" throw.
Sumo (lit., "horn power") is a characteristic sport of Japan which was established over 2000 years ago. Each contest is brief: the action rapid and exciting. Victory or defeat means much to the contestant in as much as their rank is respectively raised or lowered accordingto the result. Sumo has been depicted in various forms of Japanese decorative arts including Ukiyo-e. This okimono was execited in the technique termed "kanshitsu" (layered dry lacquer) which allowed for anatomical realism. The technique for kanshitsu is difficult. The technique was introduced from
China into Japan. The earliest recorded Japanese examples of this technique are two statues of Buddha dedicated by the Emperor Tenchi (661-71AD). After the 10th century this technique was given up due to the time and labor involved. It was practiced again in the Meiji Period. Kanshitsu figures are rare in today's market. (The Sumo okimono listed is really much better and more valuable than the comparable)." - Bernie McManus, Appraiser, Woodbury House, Connecticut, 10/23/1999