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Figurine - Artifacts

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Carved wood badger figure. Badger has bobbing head, red ears, brown white and red painted features. Round body has hole in front with bobbing badger head sticking out., with one ear missing. Also attached to body is a tail, a sake bottle with purple cord, a miniature booklet nailed to the side with kanji on front: "Big fortune notebook", and two feet nailed to the bottom. On his head is palm hat with blue patch at crown and purple cord around chin. 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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