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The original evil parts come from old China and its fox lore (introduced to Japan between the 4th-7th centuries CE).The newer tamer parts, such as the big belly, belly drumming, giant scrotum, and sake bottle can be traced to late Edo-era Japan (18th-19th centuries), while the commercialized benevolent parts (promissory note, straw hat) emerged in Japanese artwork around the beginning of the 20th century.Instead, it has shape-changed into a harmless and amusing fellow, one more interested in encouraging generosity and cheerfulness among winers and diners than in annoying humankind with its tricks.Tanuki are also portrayed as cute and lovable characters in modern cartoons and movies -- even as mascots in commercial campaigns. It is often confused with the badger (ana-guma) and the raccoon (arai-guma).16, 2011) I spoke with a representative of a cat-lovers group from Yokohama, one helping to find homes for stray cats, and she said many tanuki now inhabit the area, many steal the food set out for the cats, and many suffer from mange.To help the suffering tanuki, they inject a sweet bread with medicine (a bread the cats will not eat) and mix it together with food for the cats. The Tanuki is reportedly native to Japan, southeastern Siberia, and Manchuria.It is intended as a "primer" for students and teachers of art history and folklore. Depicted with big tummy, staff, giant scrotum, straw hat, sake flask, and promissory note.
15, 2001): “As tanuki have moved into suburban and even urban areas in Japan during the 1980s and 1990s, they have taken to feeding at rubbish dumps and are even fed by local people in their gardens, which is one reason why they are associated with racoons who thrive on the rubbish littering many cities....future of the Tanuki [in Japan] is uncertain as many are afflicted with sarcoptic mange, a condition caused by a parasitic mite.” Today (Oct.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).Many of these attributes suggest his money was wasted on wine, women, and food (but this is incorrect; see below).In Tochigi Prefecture, for example, the Tanuki is called “Mujina.” In 1924, in the so-called Tanuki-Mujina Incident , Tochigi authorities prohibited the hunting of Tanuki and promptly arrested one hunter -- who claimed he was out hunting mujina.The man was taken to trial, but eventually acquitted (on 9 June 1925).