Deer okimono
Root and lacquer
Japan or China, 19th century
H. : 33 cm – L. : 35 cm

In Japan and China the deer is a particularly important animal in Buddhist symbolism, in which the golden deer is a manifestation of the Buddha free of suffering. For the Shinto in Japan, the deer is the mount and the messenger of the gods and it is considered to be a divine being. According to legend, the god Takemikazuchi no kami arrived in Nara on the back of a white deer. Since then, thousands of deer have roamed freely in the parks and temples of the ancient imperial capital.