Why the Ainu hold the crane in such high regard
The crane is thought much of by the people. He goes by the name of sarorun
chikap, that is to say, "the bird among the tall grasses" ... The inner
lining of the crane's nest is said to consist of wool, and the name given it is
setsambe, i.e., "the pulse or the heart of the nest." Should an Ainu
find one of these, he considers himself a rich man at once, for such a treasure
will, it is supposed, speedily bring prosperity and riches. The nest lining is
taken, wrapped up in inao shavings [inao are ceremonial totems made of
whittled willow sticks], and carefully put away in a box at the northeast or
sacred corner of the hut.
I am told that this treasure is sometimes taken down, placed by the fireside,
and devoutly worshipped by those who possess it. Inao also are then made and
presented to it, and sake drunk on its behalf. When they can get it, the women
stow it away in their little storehouses as charms. They believe that the
possession of one will procure an abundance of garden produce and give them
special skill in their embroidery.