The rare subject of this netsuke is a little-known episode in the cycle of legends concerning the revenge of the Soga brothers, Sukenari and Tokimune, for the murder of their father by Kudo Suketsune. In 1193 Sukenari learned that Suketsune was taking part in preparations for a great boar hunt at the foot of Mount Fuji organized by the shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo. Leaping onto a horse and using a radish as a whip, he hurried to join his brother and plan Suketsune's assassination. Although successful in their attempt, both boys were put to death.
1 V-F. Weber, Koji Hoten, Dictionnaire à l'Usage des Amateurs et Collectionneurs d'Objets d'Art Japonais et Chinois (Paris, 1923), pp. 325-6.