Posted by: softypapa | January 5, 2008

Japanese Tanuki Ashtray – Ceramic Raccoon Dog Figure

Japanese Tanuki Ashtray Ceramic Raccoon Dog Figure Japan Tokaido Softypapa

Japanese Tanuki Ashtray Ceramic Raccoon Dog Figure Japan Tokaido Softypapa

Japanese Tanuki Ashtray Ceramic Raccoon Dog Figure Japan Tokaido Softypapa

Japanese Tanuki Ashtray Ceramic Raccoon Dog Figure Japan Tokaido Softypapa

Japanese Tanuki Ashtray Ceramic Raccoon Dog Figure Japan Tokaido Softypapa

Japanese Tanuki Ashtray Ceramic Raccoon Dog Figure Japan Tokaido Softypapa 

Description

Ceramic Japanese Tanuki ashtray.  The Tanuki or “Raccoon Dog” is a well known and very popular character in Japanese art, song and especially children’s literature.  Tanuki are, in fact, real animals resembling raccoons in both size and general appearance.  The animal’s habitat includes most of the Japanese islands as well as much of central Asia and even parts of Eastern Europe (they have even been spotted in Germany!).  The Japanese have long used the image of the Tanuki as a symbol of the dangers of overindulgence in alcohol.  A famous and very commonly seen type of Tanuki statue features a pot-bellied male specimen standing on two feet with an empty purse in one hand and an empty jug of sake in the other.  The animals genitals are distinctly visible with a rather shrunken penis and grotesquely swollen testes.  The message behind this curious image is that an excess of sake will leave one with an empty purse and full libido yet diminished ability to perform.  Perhaps this story explains why Tanuki statues are a common sight at the entrance to many Japanese bars and nightclubs.

About the Listed Item

This interesting glazed ceramic ashtray includes the likeness of a Japanese Tanuki.  This statue is less than 40 years old and is in good condition with no chips or cracks though it does have marks and scratches from handling and use.

Size:
Height: 2.7 inches (7.0 cm)
Length: 5.5 inches (14.0 cm)
Weight: 11.6 ounces (332 grams)

Click here to see additional Tanuki items!
Click
here to see additional treasures from Japan!

More about Tanuki

One of the most famous Tanuki stories tells of how a clever raccoon dog once changed himself into a large iron cooking pot in order to avoid being captured by a hunter.  However, after discovering the pot the hunter then took it home to use in cooking his dinner.  When the pot was placed over the fire it promptly transformed back into a Tanuki which scampered away into the night leaving the startled hunter in stunned amazement.  It is therefore not uncommon to see Japanese art which depicts Tanuki in association with cook pots (please see last photo below).

item code: R1S3-0003406
ship code: L1650

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Responses

  1. Where is that poor Tanuki’s balls?


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