In Japan, the raven is called Karasu. This beautiful black bird was often depicted in engravings, poems were dedicated to it, myths and legends were invented. The Ainu considered the raven a deity and identifying with the snake, calling it the "black snake", they believed that these birds could affect luck in fishing and human life in general. The Ainu have a legend that a raven saved the sun that had been swallowed by an evil spirit. The most famous raven in Japanese culture is the giant Yatagarasu, sent from heaven by the sun goddess Amaterasu to lead the legendary Emperor Jimmu, on his campaign to found Japan, through the mountain passes from Kumano to Yamato.
Manju netsuke is carved from black ebony wood, burned with a needle, dark amber inlay on gold foil, Japanese Urushi varnishes. 5.2 cm in diameter. 2023
Available for purchase.