Gaijin on Getas Blog

Posts in the ‘tanuki’ Category

Tanuki

Posted on September 24th, 2011 by Mike Roberts

Tanuki Statue

Even though they are an actual animal living in Japan, Tanuki are also among the most recognizable images in Japanese folklore, and have been part of Japanese folklore since ancient times. The legendary tanuki is reputed to be mischievous and jolly, a master of disguise and shape-shifting but somewhat gullible and absent-minded. Statues of tanuki can be found everywhere in Japan in front of restaurants and drinking establishments. These statues often wear big, cone-shaped hats and carry bottles of sake in one hand, and a promissory note (which it never pays) or empty purse in the other hand. Tanuki statues always have large bellies, and also usually show humorously large testicles, typically hanging down to the floor or ground. It is worth noting the tanuki’s testicles are unrelated to sexuality or fertility, and instead are merely a symbol of good luck and an element of silly and risque humor. Read the full post »