Tanuki (Japanese raccoon dogs) are real, existing animals, but in Japanese folklore, they are one of the most famous legendary creatures in Japan.
Tanuki are infamous for being very mischievous. They love to make fun of human beings. They like to play tricks on humans just to make the humans seem dumb and silly. (゜-゜)
It is said that they are better than the kitsune (fox) in terms of shape-shifting. They can also change the appearance of other objects (even people) in some tales.
They also have a prominent body part: their huge, magical balls (scrotum), which can be stretched to great sizes, enabling them to fly/glide (like in Studio Ghibli’s film Pom Poko), and shaped into different forms. (☉_☉) Yep. Their scrotum is also a symbol of financial luck (the tanuki also love gold and money).
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