Origin : Japan
Made of : porcelain - potery
Classification : creatures / mammals
Maker : Natsuno
About "monkey" (saru - サル) :
Japanese macaques live in the north of the country. They can bare very cold conditions and are famous because some of them bath in the 'Snow Monkey Park' hot springs located close to the town of Yamanouchi. This habit is quite recent and it's only because they are fed by humans that they can spend this 'worry-less' life. These totally relaxed monkeys with their heads emerging from the hot water and steam and looking like wise old men are a popular tourist attraction.
Street performers with monkeys called Sarumawashi are still a popular symbol even if only a few of them remain in Japan today. They used to be part of the many traditional Japanese street jobs. Their monkeys were dressed with fancy clothes and often funny hats.
Monkeys are a common subject in the Japanese culture and religion. They represent also one of the signs of the Chinese zodiac which is also used in Japan.
It's the year of birth which determines the Chinese/Japanese zodiac sign as follows :