The tanuki is a kind of canid native to Japan. Over the years it has gotten quite a reputation... or rather, its testicles have.
This should appeal to those of you who were tickled by those magnificent Edo-era He-Gassen scrolls, which put the art in "fart." Throughout the early 1800s, celebrated Japanese artist Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1798-1861) painted hundreds of gorgeous scenes, including those of landscapes, samurai, and beautiful women.
In the new book Idle Idol, Edward and John Harrison catalogue Japan's obsession with public mascots. These ubiquitous street idols greet passers-by and run the gamut from kaiju to manga characters to the tanuki, a sake-swilling raccoon-dog with giant testicles.