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Ornament - Artifacts

Painted wood ornament. A: Base is section of tree limb. Figure glued on left is a brown badger with a bobbing head. Figure glued on right is an acolyte monk with bobbing head and blue hair, and a white painted robe, on front is painted a begging bowl. Glued to the platform is a twig broom with a green handle. Behind is a patch of green simulated grass and a yellow bamboo fence. B & C: Two pieces of the bamboo have broken off. D: A separate gold colored round paper under the ornament. 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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