In Japanese culture, the snake has long been associated with various symbols and concepts, including good and evil, wisdom and deceit, longevity and rebirth. In various myths and legends, the snake can be both a patron and a threat to heroes. She is often perceived as the link between humanity and the divine world. In the legend of Hachiman Taro, one of the great samurai, the symbolism of the snake takes a special turn. According to legend, in the moment of deepest need, when the samurai's fate is on the verge of being decided, the wisteria tree turns into a snake to help him in battle. The wisteria tree, which is a symbol of beauty and elegance in Japanese culture, in this case represents strength and protection for the Hachiman Taro. In Japan, there is a temple dedicated to Hachiman Taro, which attracts pilgrims from all over the Japanese archipelago due to its unique history and connection with the legendary hero. In the center of the temple courtyard grows an ancient wisteria, considered one of the oldest in the country. Its branches, curved and flexible, seem to symbolize the strength and flexibility of the tree, ready to take the form of a snake to help the samurai in his fight. Shishiaibori Manju netsuke "Snake and WIsteria", carved from mammoth tusk, its diameter is 6.6 cm, the thickness is 2 cm, lacquered stained, amber inlaid eye. December 2015. Switzerland, private collection.