Like Kitsune, Tanuki is a prankster, transfiguration and deceiver. Sometimes they disguise themselves, using leaves or other junk to turn into money to … find food and wine. In other cases, Tanuki transforms into an object to sneak into the lives of the gullible. In the famous story “The Lucky Teapot” (Bunbuku Chagama), the father of a Tanuki family turned himself into a cast iron teapot, letting his wife sell it to a gullible antiques dealer, saving money. cubs from starving.
Also in some other versions, this Tanuki was originally a lone monster. Because he was rescued by a farmer when he was trapped by humans, it decided to turn into a beautiful teapot for him to sell to the abbot of Morinji Temple. It was normal, but when it got dark, the Tanuki returned to his original form to escape. And unfortunately, he was caught by the monk. Frightened, he immediately called all the clergy in the temple to see, but at this time, Tanuki turned into a teapot like before.
To resolve, the monk immediately called him to the farmer, to discuss destroying the kettle because of its suspicion. Hearing that, Tanuki panicked and changed into her original form and ran away, but turned around shortly after and lowered her head, explaining everything. After learning the story, the monk laughed and assumed that everyone in the village should also witness its transformation ability.
After that, he sent a small uncle to knock and announce throughout the village, that they would organize a peak performance at the temple. Witnessing Tanuki’s circus talent, countless people from far away came to see and reward with applause and great money. Thanks to this money, the monk was able to expand the temple and build important works for the village. To thank him, he immediately named it Bunbuku Chagama, which means “Lucky Teapot” and allowed it to live forever in the temple.
Although theoretically, Tanuki can be harmed by fangs and claws, but they mostly avoid violence and are more prone to deception. Its transformation ability far surpasses Kitsune, but Tanuki tends to be more naughty than malicious. Tanuki particularly likes fatty foods and especially drinks, particularly sake, even known for kidnapping and forging a bride or groom to attend a wedding party. However, sometimes their plans fail before they become reality because … they are too stupid.
The image of Tanuki is quite famous in many areas of life, like traditional food for example. Tanuki Soba and Tanuki Udon are the most popular noodles in Japan, they contain tiny pieces of fried dough, basically the “leftover tail” left after the chef cooks the expensive valuable tempura much more. Some people believe that these two items are named after that because the thought of paying for some empty flour makes people think of being tricked by Tanuki.
Not only that, their personalities in drinking, drinking and eating are also extremely popular in luck at businesses, especially pubs and restaurants. In the old days, artisans used to wrap gold ores (kintama, or “gold marbles”) with tanuki leather and flatten them into gold leaf. “Tanuki” and “gold” are tied together in that relationship, making the image of this youkai a lucky charm still popular today.