Our cute Raccoon Dog post (directly below this one) just took a turn for crudeness and hilarity. Thanks to the combined efforts of readers Hypatia and pough, we now know that #1 – Raccoon dogs are known in Japanese folklore to have the magical ability to expand their scrotums and #2 – we got our hands on some truly classic old woodprint images from mid 1800s Japan.

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Raccoon Dogs fishing and walking on the street

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Raccoon Dogs river fishing and sheltering from an evening shower.

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Raccoon dogs doing something religious and depicted as the seven lucky gods (guess Buddhism is a little mellower when it comes to depictions of holy figures than certain other religions…)

Much more here


  1. #1 tikitu
    March 25, 2008

    The animated film “Pom Poko” (from Studio Ghibli) shows these guys in all their *ahem* glory. The testicular aspect is played down a bit (they’re also general-purpose magical shapeshifters) but there’s a scene where a squadron of tanukis use their scrotal sacks as parachutes and airdrop into a city. Incredibly surreal if (like me) you see it without knowing the mythology.

  2. #2 Jonathan
    March 25, 2008

    A tanuki is featured at the beginning of Tom Robbins’ “Villa Incognito” in all his scrotal glory. And who could forget the “Tanuki Mario” from Super Mario Brothers 3? All that one could do was turn into a statue though. 🙂

  3. #3 andrew
    March 25, 2008

    yes, it would appear they are quite versatile…

  4. #4 pough
    March 25, 2008

    Glad to be able to contribute. This has been very interesting for me and not just because of those images. My Japanese girlfriend came face-to-face with some raccoons (here in the Pacific Northwest) a while back and when I explained to her what they were she claimed she was familiar with them back home. I looked up raccoons and they only seem to be in North America. So now I think I know what she was referring to!

  5. #5 ben
    March 25, 2008

    Viz magazine had a strip called “Buster Gonad and his Unfeasibly Large Testicles” that was along these lines.

  6. #6 Benny
    March 25, 2008

    I’d like to see one using his enlarged sack to make origami? Can anyone find me a picture of that?

  7. #7 Zelly
    March 25, 2008

    Why do I want to say they were said to have golden balls? Weren’t they lucky if you took their balls or something? (Really don’t know, just a vague memory).

  8. #8 p0wned
    March 25, 2008

    Clearly, Japan p0wned our western mythologies long ago.

  9. #9 Wisaakah
    March 25, 2008

    You know, for some reason it seems like it might be uncomfortable to pile all of your cargo onto your balls and then drag them along the ground…

    But that’s just me.

  10. #10 Bee
    March 26, 2008

    See now, I would *never* have known this if I didn’t read your blog!

  11. #11 kanser
    April 7, 2008

    This has been very interesting for me and not just because of those images.

  12. #12 Assunta
    June 9, 2009

    So here we see the beginnings of Japanese Anime…hehehe….what can be weirder than an animal with magical expanding scrotums?!!

  13. #13 porno
    August 17, 2010

    See now, I would *never* have known this if I didn’t read your blog!

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