Tanuki teamwork! Japanese raccoon dogs’ cuddly communal nap is too cute to miss 【Photos】

During these crisp, cool days of autumn, the leaves are changing color to vibrant reds and yellows. Along with that change in the scenery comes a shift in fashion, as people step out in sweaters, coats, and other cold-weather attire.

But while you or I can put on a heavy jacket to help ward off the chill, that’s not an option for Japan’s woodland animals. Don’t worry, though because while these tanuki can’t put on additional layers of clothing to keep warm, they can add additional layers of tanuki by sleeping in an adorable bunch.

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Tanuki magically disguises self as cat to get food

Japanese raccoon dogs, or tanuki as they’re known over here, are animals with great significance in Japanese folk-lore. Among their many supernatural attributes such as giant scrota and swift speeds, the tanuki are also known for their purported shapeshifting abilities.

And though the above picture clearly dispels the size of their manhood, there appears to be some truth to their art of disguise. As the Twitter user who posted the photo explains, this little guy is actually pretending to be a stray cat so he can get some of the food laid out for him.

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These gross ukiyo-e pictures showcase enterprising uses for really huge tanuki balls

Ukiyo-e, or woodblock prints, are a celebrated art form in Japan with a long and distinguished history. But you’d be mistaken if you thought it was all serious art and depictions of beautiful things. There’s also a lot of ukiyo-e out there that’s a bit, well, weird and gross, like that one picture of the dudes farting at each other. Today, we’d like to share with you one such bizarre collection from famous artist Kuniyoshi Utagawa depicting one of Japan’s most beloved national animals, the tanuki, aka raccoon dog – notorious for having really, really huge testicles.

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National Tanuki Cake Habitat Map aims at conserving the once-beloved but now endangered dessert

Tanuki, also known as Japanese raccoon dogs, hold a special place in Japanese culture. Often the center of folktales for their large testicles, magical abilities, and easygoing attitude, you can see them depicted in works of art all over the country.

However, now the tanuki is threatened. Not the actual animal, but a cake created in its image known as the tanuki cake. For many middle-aged Japanese people the mention of such a treat would awaken fond childhood memories. Despite this, the tanuki cake population in Japan has plummeted in recent years to the point of being critically endangered.

That’s why the website Tanuki Cake No Aru Toko Meguri has established the National Tanuki Cake Habitat Map, so that we may monitor and perhaps conserve these noble animal-shaped cakes.

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The Smell of a Tanuki Monster Captured in a Perfume, Approved by the Triforce

Yuru-kyara, those lovable mascots of urban and rural districts all over Japan, have finished their annual yuru-kyara Gran Prix with Bari-San the chicken clinching a long awaited first place.

But that doesn’t mean these men and women in giant animal costumes have time to rest.  No sir. Just as the last Gran Prix closed yuru-kyara it’s now time for the hundreds of mascots to begin campaigning for next year’s vote.

This brings us to Takibou, the Tanuki Monster of Shaolin Temple (not the kung-fu one) in Hachioji, Tokyo. Takibou had finished 58th place (top 6%) in 2012 and is hoping to improve on that performance. So, for the first time – probably in the world – a mascot is releasing their scent for the public to buy.

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