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Raku Ryōnyū

Incense Box (kōgō)

Artist

Raku Ryōnyū
Active in Japan, 1756-1834

Title

Incense Box (kōgō)

Date

19th c.

Materials

Earthenware, white slip under green glaze

Dimensions

8.1 x 6.7 cm

Credits

Gift of Joseph-Arthur Simard, inv. 1960.Ee.308

Collection

Archeology and World Cultures

The tanuki, or badger, has been an animal familiar to the Japanese since ancient times. Much like the fox, the tanuki is believed to have supernatural power and the capacity to shape-shift, and thus frequently appears in Japanese folklore. It is often depicted as comical, mischievous and somewhat absentminded. Because of its natural round form, it is usually shown with a potbelly, as seen here.

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