Boxwood netsuke of the god of Luck Daikoku and part of the Seven Gods of Happiness, standing. On his back, inscription “福”, fuku (good fortune, luck). He is accompanied by a badger on his left.
The badger is called in Japanese anaguma, its obsolete name being mujina. This last term refers to the Japanese folklore of yôkai. Like the kitsune or the tanuki, it can metamorphose and deceive humans. Its first literary mention is in the Nihon shoki (720), in the section dedicated to the 35th year of the reign of Empress Suiko (627): “In two months of spring, there were mujina in the land of Mutsu (春2月、陸奥国に狢有り), they turn into human beings and sing songs (人となりて歌う)”.
Japan, Edo period (1603-1868)
Height: 1.6 in. (4.4 cm) – width: 1.2 in. (3.5 cm) – depth : 0.8 in. (2.4 cm)