Raccoon Dogs

(Tanuki, )

Publishers: Kazusa-ya Iwaz˘ and Echizen-ya Heisabur˘

c. 1842

 

This series of comic prints alludes to the supposed ability of raccoon dogs to voluntarily enlarge their scrotums.á It is listed as 209 in Kuniyoshi by Basil William Robinson (Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1961).á Robinson translated tanuki as ôbadgersö, but ôraccoon dogsö seems to be more correct.á The images are each about 7 by 10 inches (18 by 25 centimeters), a size known as chűban.á Two images were printed on a sheet of paper about 14 by 10 inches (36 by 25 centimeters), a size known as ˘ban.

 

Kuniyoshi%20-%20(chűban)%20Raccoon%20Dogs%20(Tanuki),%20Raccoon%20dogs%20net%20&%20Raccoon%20dogs%20on%20the%20street

 

Title: Tanuki no amiuchi

Description: A raccoon dog using his scrotum as a throw-net to catch birds

 

 

 

 

 

Title: Tanuki no ˘rai

Description: Raccoon dogs coming and going on the street

Publisherĺs seal: Kazusa-ya Iwaz˘ (seal name Kamiiwa, 上岩)

Kuniyoshi%20-%20(chűban)%20Raccoon%20Dogs%20(Tanuki),%20River%20fishing%20&%20Sheltering%20from%20evening%20shower

 

Title: Tanuki no kawagari

Description: Raccoon dogs fishing in a river

Publisherĺs seal: Echizen-ya Heisabur˘ (seal 越前屋)

 

 

Title: Tanuki no yűdachi

Description: Raccoon dogs sheltering from evening shower

Publisherĺs seal: Echizen-ya Heisabur˘ (seal 越前屋)

 

I am grateful to Robert Pryor for this alternate state with the seal of the publisher Kazusa-ya Iwaz˘ (seal 岩上総屋)

Kuniyoshi - (chűban) Raccoon Dogs (Tanuki), Tanuki no senkimochi (T) & Raccoon dogs as the seven lucky gods

 

Title: Tanuki no senkimochi (せんきもち)

Description: Raccoon dog suffering from senki, a disease that causes the scrotum to swell

 

Title: Tanuki no shichifukujin (狸の七福神)

Description: Raccoon dogs as five of the seven gods of good luck

Publisherĺs seal: Kazusa-ya Iwaz˘ ( かづさや)

 

Title: Tanuki no uranai (狸のうらない)

Description: A raccoon dog as a fortuneteller

Publisherĺs seal: Kazusa-ya Iwaz˘ (seal 上総屋)

 

 

Title: Tanuki no Kanban (狸のかんばん)

Description: Raccoon dogs using their scrotums as shop signs

Kuniyoshi - (chűban) Raccoon Dogs (Tanuki), Kintama chikara mochi (T) & Catfish (Namazu hy˘tan kintama)

 

Title: Kindama chikaramochi

Description: Weightlifting

 

 

 

 

 

 

Title: Namazu hy˘tan kintama

Description: Catching a catfish with a gourd

 

NOTE: In Zen Buddhism, a k˘an is a difficult question to ponder as an aid to meditation.á Well known k˘an include: What is the sound of one hand clapping?; When a tree falls in the forest and there is no one to hear it, does it make a sound?; and How do you catch a catfish with a gourd?

Publisherĺs seal: Kazusa-ya Iwaz˘ (seal 上総屋)

 

Title: Tanuki no sum˘ (狸のすもふ)

Description: Raccoon dogs as sum˘ wrestlers wearing their scrotums as sum˘ aprons

 

Title: Tanuki no mochi (狸の夜見世)

Description: A night market

Publisherĺs seal: Echizen-ya Heisabur˘ (seal 越前屋)

Kuniyoshi - (chűban) Raccoon Dogs (Tanuki), Raccoon dogs sheltering from the cold & Raccoon dogs as retailers celebrating the first sale of the new year

 

Title: Samugari tanuki (さむがり狸)á

Description: Raccoon dogs sheltering from the cold

 

Title: Hatsuuma no tanuki

Description: Raccoon dogs as retailers celebrating the first sale of the new year by beating on a large drum

Publisherĺs seal: Kazusa-ya Iwaz˘ (seal 上総屋)

 

Kuniyoshi - (chűban) Raccoon Dogs (Tanuki), Raccoon dogs as old people & Daruma (Tanuki no d˘ke Daruma)

 

Title: Tanuki no kokintama

Description: A freak-show barker outside a shack where a raccoon dog with a small scrotum is on exhibition.á The customers are elegantly draped with their own ample scrotums.

 

Title: Tanuki no d˘ke Daruma

Description: A raccoon dog having his scrotum painted in imitation of a Daruma doll

Publisherĺs seal: Kazusa-ya Iwaz˘ (seal 上総屋)

 

Jibiki danuki

á

Title: Tengu no mane

Description: Raccoon dogs imitating tengu

 

Title: Jibiki danuki

Description: Raccoon dogs using their scrotums as a fishing net

Publisherĺs seal: Kazusa-ya Iwaz˘ (seal 上総屋)

 

 

 

 

 

I am grateful to Robert Pryor for this alternate of the above design.

Tanuki for sale (Tanuki no urisue) (T) & Tanuki no hikifune (B)

á

Title: Tanuki no urisue

Description: A raccoon dog using his scrotum as a sales gimmická

á

Title: Tanuki no hikifune

Description: A raccoon dog using his scrotum as a boat

Publisherĺs seal: Kazusa-ya Iwaz˘ (seal 上総屋)

Tanuki02_1050

 

The raccoon dog is also known as Nyctereutes procyonoides, magnut and tanuki (タヌキ, , , or たぬき).á It is the only extant species in the genus Nyctereutes.

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