The Tanuki is an animal prominently featured in Japanese folklore that is known to be mischievous, jolly, a master of disguise and a shapeshifter! Tanuki however is also the name of the real life Japanese raccoon dog and is often wrongly translated as meaning badger also. Across the vast spectrum of Japanese folklore the Tanuki often has different roles and meanings depending on the story and the region of Japan its originated from. Myth says...Tanuki tattoos bring luck.
Perhaps the most notable part of Tanuki tattoos and art is the large scrotum it is depicted as having. This, somewhat comical, feature arose in the Kamakura era and has stayed part of the Tanuki image ever since. Tanuki tattoos thereafter usually feature a happy little Tanuki with a large scrotum. A classic and comical design Tanuki tattoos are great fun and look awesome.
If you want to know more about the history, imagery, legality and artists of Japanese Tattoos, be sure to check out our guide right here.