Vintage Wooden Bears
These vintage 60s-era kibori kuma are traditional wooden souvenir bears from Hokkaido, Japan's most northern island. Intricately hand-carved in the soru-zukuri, they display incredible detail while still emphasizing the fierce nature of the Assuri bear with thicker strokes for its bristled fur. The smaller sculpture is the most traditional, depicting an Ussuri searching for a place to eat its most recent catch of chum salmon. The larger sculpture leans into the Ussuri's ferocity, showcasing its mighty growl.Measurements:
Small: 6" H x 10" L x 5" W
Tall: 9" H x 14" L x 7.5" W
Kibori kuma dates back to 1922, when Yoshichika Tokugawa, the head of the feudal Owari Tokugawa family, purchased a carving of a bear in Bern, Switzerland as a souvenir during a trip to Europe. The following year, he sent the carving to Tokugawa Farm in Hokkaido and encouraged the nearby Ainu, a recently displaced indigenous people, to carve bears for tourists as a source of income. Since the Ainu have always worshipped the Ussuri as a deity, carving their image was a perfect way to honor them. The first Hokkaido wooden bear carving was exhibited at the Yakumo Rural Arts and Crafts Fair in 1924 and won a prize at the fair in 1927. It has since become an important part of the Ainu's survival as a people.
Each vintage bear is hand-carved and unique.
Dust periodically with a lint-free cloth