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Ornament - Artifacts

Image Ornament
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Wood sculpture ornament A: Badger carved from wood has glass eyes and some white paint on each side. B: separate wooden hat with straw cord. Wood has highly defined tree rings. Badger (Tanuki) Lore When the badger becomes 1000 years old, it can work magic, produce mirages, and change itself into all kinds of inanimate and human forms. It is connected with Buddhism when it takes the form of Buddha, a boddhisattva, priest, nun, pilgrim or a Buddhist speaking statue. Wicked priests turn back into badgers when they die. "Tanuki Bozu" in the form of a Buddhist priest, presumed to be kind an trustworthy, shown coiffed with a lotus leaf and wrapped in a lotus leaf cloak as an emblem of Buddhism. Considered to be very skillful with a brush, badgers often decorate writing implements. The badger leads people astray on moonlit nights by beating on its huge belly, as on a temple drum to make enticing rhythmic music and then disappears. The badger is more bent on mishchievious tricks than real evil. (Japanese Animal Art, Antique & Contemporary by Lea Batten, p. 46)
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