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10-Aug-2017 19:08

Ceramic statues of Tanuki are found everywhere in modern Japan, especially outside bars and restaurants, where a pudgy Tanuki effigy typically beckons drinkers and diners to enter and spend generously (a role similar to Maneki Neko, the Beckoning Cat, who stands outside retail establishments.) In his modern form, the fun-loving Tanuki is commonly depicted with a big tummy, a straw hat, a bewildered facial expression (he is easily duped), a giant scrotum, a staff attached to a sake flask, and a promissory note (that he never pays).

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The fox-like Tanuki appear often in Japanese folklore as shape-shifters with supernatural powers and mischievous tendencies.

Today, the Tanuki are cheerful, lovable, and benevolent rogues who bring prosperity and business success.