DESCRIPTION: In Japanese lore, there are countless tales about the mischievous Tanuki, a real animal native to Japan. Masked like a raccoon but big and stocky like a badger, they are said to have supernatural powers to transform into any living or inanimate shape. Often they assume the form of a monk, as our Tanuki does here. This Tanuki okimono is hand crafted from a single piece of wood in the best of Mingei traditions. Dressed as a monk in a long robe, this charming Tanuki stands at an altar table saying his prayers, both hands folded with eyes gazing expectantly upward toward heaven. An outstanding piece for the Japanese folk art collector, it reflects the beauty, simplicity and spirit of Mingei crafts. Signed with two characters on his back, this enchanting sculpture dates from the 19th century and is in excellent condition with only minor wear. DIMENSIONS: 8 ½” high (21.5 cm) x 7” wide (17.8 cm) x 7” deep (17.8 cm).