Friday

Tanuki


Tanuki, originally uploaded by TheFatBuddha.
Raccoon Dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides). Native to Japan, they are the inspiration for Tanuki, the mythical Japanese creature. Tanuki statues, often found outside restaurants in Japan, wear big, cone-shaped hats and carry bottles of sake in one hand, and a "promissory note" (a bill it never pays), or sometimes an empty purse, in the other hand. They have a large belly and huge testicles, representing fertility and plenty. Called Kin-tama (Golden Balls) in Japanese, the testes are supposedly symbols of good luck. 
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