Raccoon Dogs

(Tanuki, )

Publisher: Kazusa-ya Iwaz

c. 1842

 

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

 

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

 

Title: Tanuki no kawagari

Description: Raccoon dogs fishing in a river

 

Title: Tanuki no ydachi

Description: Raccoon dogs sheltering from evening shower

 

 

 

 

Title: Tanuki no senkimochi

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

 

 

 

 

Title: Tanuki no shichifukujin

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

 

Title: Tanuki no uranai

Description: A raccoon dog as a fortuneteller

 

 

 

 

Title: Tanuki no kanban

Description: Raccoon dogs using their scrotums as shop signs

 

Title: Kindama chikaramochi

Description: Weightlifting

 

 

 

Title: Namazu hytan kintama

Description: Subduing a catfish with a gourd

 

NOTE: In Zen Buddhism, a kan is a difficult question to ponder as an aid to meditation. Well known kan 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?

 

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

Description: A night stall

 

 

 

 

Title: Samugari tanuki (さむがり狸)

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

 

Title: Tanuki no kokintama

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

 

Title: Tanuki no dke Daruma

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

Title: Tengu no mane

Description: Raccoon dogs imitating tengu

 

Title: Jibiki danuki

Description: Raccoon dogs using their scrotums as a fishing net

Title: Tanuki no urisue

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

Title: Tanuki no hikifune

Description: A raccoon dog using his scrotum as a boat

 

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

 

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