Japanese Mythology in Popular Culture - Tanuki


  • All the main characters in Pom Poko are shapeshifting Tanuki who are trying to save their habitat from urban development. Japanese legends about Tanuki and kitsune shapeshifting are featured heavily throughout the movie. The Tanuki were mistranslated in the film as raccoons.
  • In the story Botchan by Natsume Soseki, the protagonist refers to his employer, a school principal, as "Tanuki", although this has been mistranslated as "Badger" in the English version (However, to all intents and purposes, "Badger" may be the best translation, since the verb "badger" means to pester or annoy someone).
  • In the Bleach series, shortly before being taken to Soul Society for her execution, Rukia Kuchiki leaves Ichigo Kurosaki a note written in the ta-nuki code (in which the message is written syllable by syllable, each of them interspersed with the character ta; ta-nuki literally means "take ta off"), and draws a Tanuki next to the note as a clue.
  • Hachi, from the anime series InuYasha, takes the form of a Tanuki even though he is introduced as a badger in the English dub.
  • Mamizou Futatsuiwa from the Touhou Project game Ten Desires is a Tanuki who is friends with Nue Houjuu.
  • Urusei Yatsura, which was written by the same author as InuYasha (Rumiko Takahashi) also features a Tanuki in comical situations.
  • In Naruto, the one-tailed demon Shukaku that is sealed inside the body of Gaara is based on the Tanuki.
  • The Tanuki is well represented in video games as one of Mario's power-ups in Super Mario Bros. 3, in which the Super Leaf and P-Wing gave Mario/Luigi the ears and tail of a raccoon, enabling him to fly and spin-attack the enemies, as well as a Tanuki suit that, aside from the capabilities normally granted by the Super Leaf, also enabled Mario or Luigi to briefly turn into a statue to let enemies pass by. Tanuki also appear as a pair of characters in Super Mario Sunshine, the action stage identifier from The Legend of the Mystical Ninja and Rocky from Pocky & Rocky.
  • Tom Nook, the shopkeeper in Animal Crossing, is a Tanuki (although translated as a raccoon) and the furniture and other objects that he buys and sells transform into leaves when stored in a player's inventory. His name in Japanese, Tanukichi, is a much more obvious play on the word Tanuki. Tom Nook's nephews, Timmy and Tommy, are also Tanuki.
  • In the Requiem from the Darkness episode "The Shibaemon Raccoon Dog," the target of the Ongyou is a man who thinks that he is actually a Tanuki. When the man dies upon being attacked by dogs, his dead body turns into a Tanuki's body.
  • The Tanuki, the mythical figure as well as the modern animal, play a large part in Tom Robbins' novel Villa Incognito.
  • "The Masked Tanuki" is an episode of the American animated television show Kappa Mikey and is also the name of the superhero identity of Guano.
  • Tanuki also appear in the 2005 Seijun Suzuki film Princess Raccoon (aka Operetta tanuki goten).
  • In the Ever17 visual novel by KID, Komachi Tsugumi wears a mascot Tanuki suit and beats the protagonist pretty hard when he tries to seek the help from her, when he gets lost in amusement park. Later, Yuubiseiharukana explains that isn't a "tanuki", but a "lemur".
  • In the manga/anime Shaman King, one of Tamao Tamamura's guardian ghosts is a Tanuki (Ponchi).
  • In the video game Ōkami, Tanuki statues can be seen in front of various shops.
  • In the video game Shinobido, Tanuki statues can be seen in front of various shops.
  • In the manga/anime One Piece, the reindeer Tony Tony Chopper is often called a Tanuki.
  • Oy of the Mid-World, a character of the Stephen King's The Dark Tower saga, seems to be based on the Tanuki.
  • In the anime Ouran High School Host Club, Hikaru says that Haruhi looks like a Tanuki, making Tamaki upset because he called her a "raccoon dog."
  • In the Renkin 3-kyū Magical? Pokān episode "The Hot Spell is the Spontaneous Onsen," the four princesses encounter Tanuki in the form of women that ended up luring the girls into a hot spring that they were looking for and end up stealing their clothes near the end of the episode. When they noticed the tanukis in their clothes close to the end, Uma claims that this is what they meant by "tricked by a Tanuki."
  • Tanuki are featured in AdventureQuest Worlds. They reside in Yokai Island's Bamboo Forest and have been bewitched by the 4th Lord of Chaos named Kitsune. They are shown as their usual descriptions, but are larger than normal, wearing a nightcap, and can breathe fire.
  • In the Japanese Transformers cartoon series Beast Wars Neo, there is a character named Heinlad who has the ability to time-travel. He transforms into a Tanuki with a clock imbedded in its stomach.
  • In Street Fighter III, the character Ibuki owns a Tanuki named Don.
  • Reiko Asagiri from the anime Gate Keepers has a statue of a Tanuki in her collection of souvenirs from places she and her fellow AEGIS agents operated.

Read more about this topic:  Japanese Mythology In Popular Culture

Other articles related to "tanuki":

Serving Soba - Common Soba Dishes - Hot Soba Dishes
... Kitsune soba きつね蕎麦 ("fox soba", in Kantō) or たぬき蕎麦 Tanuki soba ("raccoon dog soba", in Kansai) Topped with aburaage (deep-fried tofu) ... Soki soba An Okinawan specialty, topped with soki (stewed pork) Tanuki soba (in Kantō) or Haikara soba ハイカラ蕎麦 (in Kansai) Topped with tenkasu (bits of deep-fried tempura ... Kitsune Soba in Brighton, East Sussex, UK Tanuki Soba in Cupertino, California, USA Tsukimi Soba Nameko Soba Kamonanban Dried soba noodles, three ...
Japanese Raccoon Dog - Tanuki in Folklore and Tradition - Ongoing Popular Tradition
... A common schoolyard song in Japan makes explicit reference to the tanuki's testicles Tan Tan Tanuki no kintama wa, Kaze mo nai no ni, Bura bura The legendary tanuki has eight ... The statues available all over Japan of the tanuki are Shigaraki ware, a style of pottery long associated with tanuki imagery ... According to Alice Gordenker, the modern version of the tanuki was developed by a potter named Tetsuzo Fujiwara, who moved to Shiga Prefecture in 1936 ...
Awa No Tanuki Festival - Overview
... The Awa no Tanuki festival was first started in 1978 with the aims of promoting local culture, and has since grown into Tokushima's main Autumn festival ... While the festival is popularly known as the 'Tanuki Festival', Tokushima has been home to many tales of the tanuki since long past ... of these tales talk of the interaction between tanuki and the local town residents, with the tanuki often acting as positive, changing forces ...
Heinlad - Beast Wars Neo
... from happening at once." Alternate Modes Tanuki/Raccoon Dog Series Beast Wars Neo Voiced by Takashi Matsuyama Heinlad (the Japanese pronunciation of 'Heinrad') usually acts dazed and vague, often talking ... His beast mode is also unique, being based upon the tanuki or raccoon dog animal ... of said animal was amazingly large testes which, according to Japanese legend, the tanuki used as both seat and as drums ...
Japanese Raccoon Dog - Tanuki in Folklore and Tradition
... The tanuki has a long history in Japanese legend and folklore ... Bake-danuki (化け狸) are a kind of tanuki yōkai (ghost) found in the classics and in the folklore and legends of various places in Japan ... Although the tanuki is a real, extant animal, the bake-danuki that appears in literature has always been depicted as a strange, even supernatural animal ...