Japanese Sasano-bori Wood Folk Carving

Sasano-Bori Folk Craft | Vintage Japanese Hand Carved Peacock (Kujaku) Figure


Descriptive qualities& condition:

Dimensions: 5-1/4“w x 5-0”h

Offered is a beautiful Sasano-Bori carving of a beautifully detailed Peacock that is made of pine and honoring the Goddess Sasano. It stands with its feathers outstretched displaying its beauty and on its backside has a group of simulated fluffy feathers that enhance the three-dimensional qualities of this figure. Its head is beautifully painted detail and expressive of the wonderful bird. The Peacock is representative of glory, immortality, royalty, and incorruptibility. It is a symbol in Japan for integrity and the beauty that can be achieved when we endeavor to better ourselves and better our lives. Japanese craftsmen and artists have made crafts and toys for many centuries and the peacock is one of their favored motifs. It is stamped Made in Japan on the bottom of the piece and comes in its original cardboard box.

Vintage Condition: Excellent with unusual painted detail work giving depth to the finish. “As is”, and retains the original craft/workmanship. Any discoloration, chipping/cracking, surface wear, or structural damage is noted.

NOTE: About 1100 years ago, Sasano carving began as a charm, hand-carved and painted by farmers in honor of the goddess of Sasano, in Yonezawa City, Yamagata Prefecture, Japan. This technique has been handed down from generation to generation and was well-known to most Japanese people in the 17th century. Due to the slow economy in Yonezawa at that time, the then shogunate, Yozan Uesugi, actively promoted the carving industry to improve the economy.

Sasano-Bori are made of pine or walnut, Koshiabura and Eniyu and known for the simple rustic, pastoral beauty, strong and flexible, and age beautifully while supporting a technique that is intricate in its construction. "BORI" means carving by chisels. This art has been made with well-trained strokes of a special chisel and even curled thin carving to simulate feathers and shuttlecocks of the birds using the natural look of the material.

Sasano-Bori requires special chisels called Sarukiri and Chijire. The craftsman uses the axe-like Sarukiri as a knife and makes very detailed carvings on a single piece of wood. Several kinds of sharp knives are used to carve and whittle the wood.

There are many different kinds of Sasano-bori: each carving has its own meaning. The most famous Cock Hawks, (Otaka Poppo), with other carvings including the Peacock, Turkey, Pheasant, Wagtail Owl, Horned Owl, Wagtail Sparrow, Turtle, (‘straw raincoat-turtle’), Monkey, Wild Boar, Cow, and Rabbit. This rural elegance can be seen in the resulting distinctive style, which is unparalleled in the field of folk crafts.