Tuesday, 29 November 2005

Is it a dog or a raccoon? | MetaFilter

Looks like a raccoon, acts like a raccoon, tastes like a dog? Technically a member of the canid family and considered to be a species of dog, the raccoon dog, or tanuki, is hunted in Japan to the tune of 70,000 animals killed annually for use in the production of calligraphic brushes, stuffed animals, and, apparently, ramen flavoring. The really interesting thing about the tanuki is its place in Japanese myth. The mythical tanuki are full of mischief, masters of shapeshifting, and possessors of unusually large testicles. Comic depictions of tanuki often show them with their testicles thrown over their backs or using them as drums.

(I first heard of these guys via Tom Robbins Villa Incognito (excellent read) and then realized Hachi was a tanuki while watching Inuyasha late one night

obligatory: Philip K Nixon - Tanuki Testicles

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