One of the most popular creatures in the Japanese folklore is the tanuki. Inspired by a real animal, the Japanese raccoon dog, tanuki is usually represented with a friendly look, a big round tummy, gigantic testicles, a large straw hat (sugegasa) and a bottle of sake in hand.
The tradition says that the tanuki is gluttonous, quite a drinker, and ready to do just about anything to get money and food. Tanuki may try to cheat by paying with magical leaves, or by disguising himself as mendicant monk, as in the statue photographed here…
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: