I found myself with some free time last week and went on a thrift shopping bender. Amongst my many fantastic finds with this wooden figure of the Buddha.
I think it’s a Netsuke. In a nutshell (and some of them are actually carved from nutshells) Netsuke are mini sculptures that were invented in 17th-century Japan as a sort of toggle or fob to help secure containers called inro or sagemono from their obis.
I’m guessing that this netsuke dates from around 1920-30 and was aimed more at the tourist trade. And I’m no expert, so it might not technically be a netsuke at all. Most of these mini-scultures were hung from a cord, and this is set on a chain.