This was advertised as a Japanese donkey whip :
It seems a bit grand for a donkey with its silver cap.
And why (and how) is it curled ?
A bit of internet research taught me that Japanese horse whips are called muchi.
They can be made of willow or bamboo ( and there is a metal version used as a weapon)
There are many pictures of samurai carrying bamboo whips, but they all seemed to be straight.
Until I saw this :
It is a statue of the Kamakura period warlord Shigetada Hatakeyama on horseback at Musashi shrine on Mount Mitake.
And he is carrying a curled whip.
And then I read about “lucky” bamboo , the curled bamboo that was everywhere a few years ago.
You can still get it at Ikea even….
The spiral growth pattern is achieved by using light from one direction only and slowly turning the plant – phototropism, I seem to recall from biology.
And while I’m thinking about biology I seriously need to treat it for woodworm – did you see the size of the insect holes in it ? I don’t want anything alive escaping from those…