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May 26, 2011

Cultural differences and the heroes of the past. Drunk raccoon who owes you money and uses his balls as a weapon.

Tanuki is the Japanese word for the Japanese raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonides viverrinus). They have been part of Japanese folklore since ancient times. The legendary tanuki is reputed to be mischievous and jolly, a master of disguise and shapeshifting, but somewhat gullible and absent-minded.


Statues of tanuki can be found outside many Japanese temples and restaurants, especially noodle shops. These statues often wear big, cone-shaped hats and carry bottles of sake in one hand, and a promissory note (a bill it will never pay) or empty purse in the other hand. Tanuki statues always have large bellies. Older depictions of the tanuki show them as having large testicles as well, although this feature is often omitted in contemporary sculpture.


The comical image of the tanuki is thought to have developed during the Kamakura era. The actual wild tanuki has unusually large testicles, a feature that has inspired humorous exaggeration in artistic depictions of the creature. Tanuki may be shown with their testicles flung over their backs like travellers' packs, or using them as drums. (OUCH!)As tanuki are also typically depicted as having large bellies, they may be depicted as drumming on their bellies instead of their testicles -- particularly in contemporary art.

the most infamous aspect of the tanuki's shapeshifting involves its testicles. By blowing air
and pulling, the male raccoon dog can stretch his scrotum into a vast sheet exceeding eight tatami mats in size.

Sometimes only exceptionally clever tanuki called mamedanuki are said to be able to do this. The tanuki in comic art is portrayed employing his expanded testicles in numerous ways - he may use them as a raincoat or a blanket, a boat or a blunt weapon, he may disguise them as another y?kai such as a
rokuro-kubi or a tengu in order to frighten his fellow raccoon dogs, or he may even traipse through
a landscape made up entirely of hairy, wrinkled scrotal skin.

And what's the funniest part of all this?

Well, did you ever wonder why int he hell Mario would dress up like a raccoon suit. That's not scary. Look it up.. it's called a Tanuki suit.

Yeah, that's right.  Where do you think Mario brothers games were made? Unfortunately, we didn't get to use his amazing balls to stomp on the mushrooms.. but now that I think about it..  Balls stomping on mushroom tips...sounds very homosexual in nature to me. And yes, now you're going to tell me not everything is gay.. well, it's funny none the less. 

And I'll bid you ado with sweet dreams knowing that with Tanuki outside your door, your house is safeguarded by a drunk, absent-minded, broke, fat, bum of a raccon that might beat you over the head with his enormous balls. 

Hell, I'm scared.