my account
tofu tomodachi
about tofu cute
shops
tofu cute blog
FAQs
contact us
FREE UK Delivery on orders over £20
Worldwide delivery available
FREE UK Delivery on orders over £20 / Worldwide delivery available
our shops FAQs blog tomodachi my account
"Not much going on here..."
Tofu Cute Blog
All about Tanuki!
All about Tanuki!
16th April 2021 • by Adam
16th April 2021 • Your new favourite animal? • by Adam
Your new favourite animal?
You may have noticed these incredible new Tan Tan Ponpoko Tanuki Raccoon Small Plush hit the site recently, and I’m sure if you’re anything like me, you might think they’re pretty neat. But what are tanuki? They share a lot in common with the average raccoon, and whilst they’re technically a type of raccoon, they’re certainly not just a raccoon. The cultural and zoological circumstances surrounding the tanuki are a lot more interesting than you might think!
What is a tanuki, then?
Tanuki and other forms of raccoon dog originated in east asia. They’re medium sized but sometimes fairly fluffy creatures that typically look like larger raccoons with brown coloured fur. They favour wild forest habitats and enjoy the sun, but their dense fur which grows longer in the winter allows them to survive cold temperatures if they want to, which why is they can be found in a wide variety of habitats in Japan, from the colder northern regions of Hokkaido to the warmer regions of Honshu. Like raccoons they have a varied diet, and will often spend a lot of time foraging for foods - they enjoy fruits (especially melons and grapes) as well as nuts, oats, and plants and occasionally, fish. Generally, tanuki are quite reclusive, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be friendly! If you can manage to find one (which is certainly a difficult task in and of itself), be sure to approach them gently!
Why are they named tanuki?
The Japanese word ‘tanuki’ (狸 or たぬき) is simply a descriptive word for a ‘raccoon dog’ - as the creatures are indigineous to the area, the name ‘tanuki’ isn’t based on anything else, but due to the how tanuki have been depicted in folklore, has come to mean ‘cunning’ ‘mischievous’ or even ‘fox-like’ in other words. For example, the word ‘tanukioyaji’ (狸親父) means ‘cunning old man’ and the word ‘tanukineiri’ (狸寝入り) means 'pretending to be asleep'!
In Folklore
In Japanese culture, tanuki are considered cunning little tricksters for reasons that are a little unclear in the modern age due to a variety of conflicting accounts. In classic folklore tales, poems, and artwork, tanuki are depicted as elusive, shape-shifting beings that govern nature. It is suggested this stemmed from similar mythology of shape-shifting cats in China, but it’s clear that the mythology of tanuki morphed into something entirely unique.

Appearing in tales alongside other yokai, tanuki bridged the gap between myth and reality, as a larger-than-life set of creatures and the wholesome little furry friends that they were based on. Common visual depictions of the tanuki in traditional artwork included them with leaves on their head to represent their connection to nature, as well as carrying large bottles of sake (traditionally made Japanese plum wine), much like the plush in our new series. Folklore surrounding the more supernatural idea of the tanuki is typically referred to as ‘bake-danuki’ (化け狸).
In Popular Culture
If you’re familiar with the films of Studio Ghibli, you might have seen a form of the more traditional folklore tanuki in the feature film Pom Poko, which features a legion of tanuki. It’s a pretty good film, if you’re looking for a fun family film that also represents the popular folklore version of the tanuki, this is a good place to start.

Tanuki have also appeared fairly often in popular Japanese video games - if you’re an animal crossing fan (we know a lot of you are), you’ll already know about the endearing landlord & businessman Tom Nook and his two sons Timmy and Tommy, all of which are of tanuki persuasion. The equally popular Super Mario series of games have also incorporated tanuki based ‘power-ups’ since the third game Super Mario Bros. 3 released in 1988, appearing throughout the series ever since as a pair of ears and a tail that could give mario the ability to fly.
The plush
So, if you’ve now been thoroughly convinced to love tanuki, you’ll undoubtedly love these new Tan Tan Ponpoko Tanuki Raccoon Plush that we have in stock. They’re round, soft and full of all the charm you might expect from a tanuki, including their colour patterns, ears, tail and mischievous smirks. What’s not to love?
You may have noticed these incredible new Tan Tan Ponpoko Tanuki Raccoon Small Plush hit the site recently, and I’m sure if you’re anything like me, you might think they’re pretty neat. But what are tanuki? They share a lot in common with the average raccoon, and whilst they’re technically a type of raccoon, they’re certainly not just a raccoon. The cultural and zoological circumstances surrounding the tanuki are a lot more interesting than you might think!
What is a tanuki, then?
Tanuki and other forms of raccoon dog originated in east asia. They’re medium sized but sometimes fairly fluffy creatures that typically look like larger raccoons with brown coloured fur. They favour wild forest habitats and enjoy the sun, but their dense fur which grows longer in the winter allows them to survive cold temperatures if they want to, which why is they can be found in a wide variety of habitats in Japan, from the colder northern regions of Hokkaido to the warmer regions of Honshu. Like raccoons they have a varied diet, and will often spend a lot of time foraging for foods - they enjoy fruits (especially melons and grapes) as well as nuts, oats, and plants and occasionally, fish. Generally, tanuki are quite reclusive, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be friendly! If you can manage to find one (which is certainly a difficult task in and of itself), be sure to approach them gently!
Why are they named tanuki?
The Japanese word ‘tanuki’ (狸 or たぬき) is simply a descriptive word for a ‘raccoon dog’ - as the creatures are indigineous to the area, the name ‘tanuki’ isn’t based on anything else, but due to the how tanuki have been depicted in folklore, has come to mean ‘cunning’ ‘mischievous’ or even ‘fox-like’ in other words. For example, the word ‘tanukioyaji’ (狸親父) means ‘cunning old man’ and the word ‘tanukineiri’ (狸寝入り) means 'pretending to be asleep'!
In Folklore
In Japanese culture, tanuki are considered cunning little tricksters for reasons that are a little unclear in the modern age due to a variety of conflicting accounts. In classic folklore tales, poems, and artwork, tanuki are depicted as elusive, shape-shifting beings that govern nature. It is suggested this stemmed from similar mythology of shape-shifting cats in China, but it’s clear that the mythology of tanuki morphed into something entirely unique.

Appearing in tales alongside other yokai, tanuki bridged the gap between myth and reality, as a larger-than-life set of creatures and the wholesome little furry friends that they were based on. Common visual depictions of the tanuki in traditional artwork included them with leaves on their head to represent their connection to nature, as well as carrying large bottles of sake (traditionally made Japanese plum wine), much like the plush in our new series. Folklore surrounding the more supernatural idea of the tanuki is typically referred to as ‘bake-danuki’ (化け狸).
In Popular Culture
If you’re familiar with the films of Studio Ghibli, you might have seen a form of the more traditional folklore tanuki in the feature film Pom Poko, which features a legion of tanuki. It’s a pretty good film, if you’re looking for a fun family film that also represents the popular folklore version of the tanuki, this is a good place to start.

Tanuki have also appeared fairly often in popular Japanese video games - if you’re an animal crossing fan (we know a lot of you are), you’ll already know about the endearing landlord & businessman Tom Nook and his two sons Timmy and Tommy, all of which are of tanuki persuasion. The equally popular Super Mario series of games have also incorporated tanuki based ‘power-ups’ since the third game Super Mario Bros. 3 released in 1988, appearing throughout the series ever since as a pair of ears and a tail that could give mario the ability to fly.
The plush
So, if you’ve now been thoroughly convinced to love tanuki, you’ll undoubtedly love these new Tan Tan Ponpoko Tanuki Raccoon Plush that we have in stock. They’re round, soft and full of all the charm you might expect from a tanuki, including their colour patterns, ears, tail and mischievous smirks. What’s not to love?
About the Author: Adam
Adam is the lead writer of the Tofu Cute Blog and Wordsmith person at Team Tofu. When he's not making fun content for Tofu Cute, he enjoys being a huge nerd. He spends his free time gaming, reading, cooking and figuring out ways to make Godzilla and other giant monsters real.
About the Author: Adam
Adam is the lead writer of the Tofu Cute Blog and Wordsmith person at Team Tofu. When he's not making fun content for Tofu Cute, he enjoys being a huge nerd. He spends his free time gaming, reading, cooking and figuring out ways to make Godzilla and other giant monsters real.
What did you think of this? Log in to react to this article!
What did you
think of this?
Log in to react to this article!
Cute
4
Super Cute
97
Cool
26
Wow!
14
Haha
3
You have not reacted yet!

You must be logged in and have a Tomodachi card linked to your account to receive points.
Next Article >>
Our Favourite Sanrio Collaborations!
You have not reacted yet!
You must be logged in and have a Tomodachi card linked to your account to receive points.
Next Article >> Our Favourite Sanrio Collaborations!