Mokugyo Wooden Fish Drum Antique Japanese Carved Chanting Music Instrument 23 cm.H
Antique Japanese Carved Chanting Instrument
Wooden Fish Drum
Seal Mark. Circa, early 1900s'
H 9.25 in. (23cm), W 8 in. (20cm), D 7 in. (18cm)
Mallet not included, overall good condition!
Mokugyos are found in various sizes and shapes, ranging from a few inches for private practice, to the largest 3.5 ft. Mokugyo located at the Hasedera Temple in Kamakura Japan. This mid-size rendition is carved from a single Arakashi hardwood block, adhered to the traditional design of the Mokugyo with two dragon fish heads and a wisdom pearl to form the handle, the instrument is hollowed out with a cavity ridge around the base, forming a bulbous cavity comprises the sounding block. The dragon heads are rendered in perfect symmetry with deeply carved fish scales on two sides. To complement the name “Wooden Fish” 木魚, the instrument is frequently inscribed “Jade Scale” 玉鱗 in Kanji. Aged with an attractive rich natural wood tone and borne by a few critter bite marks, this antique Mokugyo also has accumulated a few mallet strike notes from ritual usage through the years, such as the reciting Buddhist sutras in Zen tradition.