Japanese bronze Tanuki in the guise of a Buddhist priest, wrapped in a cloak and leaning over a mokugyo a percussion instrument used in temples to keep time for chanting, signed with chiselled characters under the base Hideaki saku
秀明作, Meiji Period 1868-1912.
The Tanuki 狸 (Japanese raccoon dog) often features in Japanese tales.
The legendary animal has a mischievous nature and magical powers making it capable of shape shifting into human form or into objects. The Tanuki has a long tail, which it uses to wrap itself into a bundle and hide, or to baffle its enemies.
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