(Real Tanuki Pics on BLOG page)
In Japan, you can see Tanuki statues in front of restaurants to attract customers and money. He's a raccoon dog spirit with a welcome happy smile and large testicles. I didn't know what to make of these things when I first got to Japan. Living in the Osaka area, there are a lot of restaurants/bars and plenty of tanukis! Even kids seemed to be ok with the idea that there's a statue with big balls out in front of where they're eating. Some people even put them in front of their home as a symbol of fertility. Tanuki's are so popular that even famous animation director, Hayao Miyazaki, made a movie about them called Heisei Tanuki Gassen Ponpoko! The best scene is when the Tanukis grab their balls and stretch out their scrotums to use them as parachutes. Yes, this movie was for kids! Anyway, I like tanukis because they have magical powers and are quite curious. I have a feeling that some of you are going to love my version of Tanuki, or hate him. Either way, I hope he'll make a fun addition to Fried Chicken and Sushi!