Wooden Carved Pen Holder Bear

A small wooden pen holder from Hokkaido, hand carved to depict a bear holding a salmon in its mouth.

£72.00 per item


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This small wooden pen holder, hand carved to depict a bear holding a salmon in its mouth, originates from Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost prefecture, renowned for its rich wildlife. The image of a bear with salmon is a well-known symbol of Hokkaido, representing the natural landscape and the wildlife that can be found there. Ussuri brown bears, the largest land mammals in Japan, are native to the region, while salmon have long played a predominant role as a crucial trade commodity and hold sacred significance for the Ainu, an indigenous people of northern Japan.
The craft of carved wooden bears and salmon originated in two areas of Hokkaido; Yakumo and Asahikawa. In Yakumo, off-season farmers who migrated from Honshu began the tradition of carving bears, whilst in Asahikawa, the Ainu community developed their style of carving. Starting with tourism boom in Hokkaido during the 1960s, the carved bear-and-salmon figures have become a popular souveniers from the region.

Individual items will differ from one another slightly, due to their handmade nature.

Size: L13 x W6.5 x H8cm
Material: Japanese linden

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