Friday, November 9, 2012

Tanuki Day! Please do not read if you are offended by giant magical scrotums

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Yesterday we celebrated a beloved Hoffman holiday, Tanuki day. To the uninitiated, a Tanuki is a Japanese raccoon dog. In Japanese folklore, these creatures are featured as mischevious shape-changing hedonists. As if this isn't enough to make you love them, they have abnormally huge scrotums which they can pull out into vast sheets, creating sails, multi-roomed buildings and trampolines, as a few examples. They also can do battle with these multi-tasking testicles. These enormous testicles are seen as a sign of financial luck. According to wikipedia, children sing a schoolyard song:
"Tan Tan Tanuki no kintama wa,
Kaze mo nai no ni,
Bura bura
('"Tan-tan-tan", tanuki's bollocks ring/The wind stops blowing/But they swing, swing, swing')[12] It continues for several verses, with many regional variations. It is sung to the melody of an American Baptist hymn called "Shall We Gather at the River?".[13]"

Here are some pictures of their swiss army-like appendages;
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Useful for fishing
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Keeping warm whilst camping.
Tanuki are usually pictured in a straw hat with a bottle of sake and an I.O.U or empty purse. They are known to beat on their bellies and, um other prominent features in happiness, producing the sounds "pon-poko-pon".
     We celebrated by having a dinner of homemade ramen and a showing of "Pom Poko" by Studio Ghibli.

Click here to see the movie trailer
This movie has more scrotal tomfoolery than you can shake a ...ummm, giant magical testicle at? Plus, if you are a Studio Ghibli fan, you will enjoy looking for some characters from other Ghibli productions in some of the scenes. As if that wan't enough for me, my beloved Man With The Yellow Hat (Jeff Bennet) does voice over work in the English dub! Gods bless T.M.W.T.Y.H., for he is a harbinger of peace and quiet in my home.
     We also broke out our own collection of Tanuki and dolled him up a little, as the Tanuki do so love to party!

This Tanuki was lovingly handcrafted by my Dad-in-love as a gift.  He is a photographic cutout that is large and in charge. The Tanuki, not Dad.

At any rate, Happy Tanuki Day To all of you!

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