Shigaraki Tanuki Incense Burner | Japan | 1930

Ceramic Tanuki, (Raccoon-Dog, see image), are a type of Shigaraki pottery that originated in Shiga Prefecture, near Kyoto, Japan during the Edo period. They are the most well-known of the sculptural pottery types, and have been part of Japanese folk lore since ancient times. The legendary Tanuki, a sign of good luck, is reputed to be mischievous and jolly; a master of disguise and a shape shifter; gullible, and absent-minded. He sometimes is shown wearing a big cone-shaped hat or has a red cloth tied around his head, and carries a bottle of sake in one hand, and a promissory note or an empty coin bag in the other hand because he has spent all of his money, on sake, women, and food. Tanuki figures always have large bellies and are usually shown with large testicles, hanging to the ground. This is a fairly unusual Tanuki in that he is depicted with a female companion.  Age: 1930’s. Excellent condition. Dimension: 8”h x 7”w x 5”d

Additional Information —See Shigaraki Potters’ Valley by Louise Allison Cort. ISBN: 974-8304-91-4.

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