The Japanese name for the raccoon-dog, Nyctereuctes procyonoides. In folklore the animal is credited with supernatural powers, including shapeshifting, money counterfeiting, and most notably of expanding its already very large scrotum to use as a drum or a weapon. Tanuki statues are a popular part of Japanese kitsch, portraying a jolly, plump little anthropomorphization of the creature, usually with a straw hat, a bottle of sake, a purse of bills for his carousing, and of course his big wrinkly testicles dragging on the ground between his feet.
The Studio Ghibli feature Pompoko was never properly imported to the United States due to its copious and unabashed supply of tanuki balls.
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