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A reader suggested a Tanuki Green Tea, after seeing the other tea labels, and it occurred to me that I never have painted a tanuki.

There's a reason for that. You've probably already noticed it.

See, tanuki are Asian raccoon dogs--they look sort of like a badger crossed awkwardly with a fox--and you see them frequently in Japanese art. They're considered mischievious spirits, and there are lots of statues of the tanuki and shrines and whatnot. And every single one has HUGE testicles. I don't know why, of all the animals in Japan, the tanuki gets represented with junk bigger than its head, but...well, couldn't very well draw a tanuki and leave out this vital cultural link, now could I? (Frequently, they're even more anatomically correct. This is tame and mild by tanuki representation standards.)

I don't know if it works as a label design, but I did like the tanuki design, at least. And now that I've drawn a tanuki, I can...err...move on with my life, I guess...

Prints are available! $10 and $20 respectively, plus shipping! Perfect for kitchens of those with peculiar senses of humor! Drop a note, or visit [link]
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lil-water-fae Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2011
ahahaha so cute! :nana: i love all the labels!
Taren14 Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2010
I was wondering why this was somewhat censored until I saw the picture and remembered the defining characteristic of a tanuki.
cmiranda123 Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2010
I love that you gave it huge testicles. lol very authentic.
spookybunnie Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2010
LOL, ok I have to comment, because recently I found a tanuki statue at a thrift store, I eagerly picked it up thinking awww cute raccoon dog, at that point I didnt know much about it, so, about a week ago I find out what I thought were feet were actually testicles, I was horrified!! My husband thought it was hilarious...especially because now I dont know if I want to keep it in my house! So in other words...I COMPLETELY understand. and LMAO. Why Nipon??? Why??? LOL
Sugar-Bielbog Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2010
Hey, at least he's not turning his balls into parachutes and frogs and carpets and bludgeons like in Pom Poko.
g3m1n1 Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
what happens if the tanuki is female? or are all of them male?
TigrisTheLynx Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
oh gawd.. you started to go on about testicles on a tea label and suddenly the slang term "teabagging" springs to mind. XD So wrong, yet so right. Tanuki's were meant to sell teabags.
XXX-Lizard-XXX Featured By Owner May 8, 2009
In wikipedia, apparently Tanuki's have...oversized testicles o.0 because it symbolizes financial luck.

Juuuuuuuuust wanted to answer your question....
gazztron Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2009
Want =D
Drink-The-Nectar Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2009
If no one has mentioned this to you before, you might get a kick out of the book "Villa Incognito" by Tom Robbins. One of the characters is a Tanuki, abnormally large scrotum included. ;)
Kalure Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You know, when I saw this one on the calendar, all I could think was "Shouldn't it be 'Tanuki's Teabag,' or would that be pushing it too far?"
moshrocker Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2008  Hobbyist Artist
they make 'em wit big nabs cuz actual tanukis have big nabs
sweets8 Featured By Owner May 30, 2008
odd, funny, though true, fufufu 83
DruidElf Featured By Owner May 4, 2008


Pom Poko.
ShyriaDracnoir Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2007  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I think the testicles are a sign of fertility rather than sex. Same reason why they're typically shown with big tummies as well.
This is really cute! I love his expression. He looks so peaceful
xCannibalxSheepx Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2007
Tanuki testacles make me hot.
WoodenCoyote Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2006
I think tanuki actually have really big balls in the wild, which is why you see them with even bigger ones in art.
Jackie-the-druid Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2006
I love this!
I wish someone could make a tanuki brand tea just to see this on the package
sad-roses Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2006  Student General Artist
I thought they were a cushion he was sitting on
Your..conceptions are always incredible..literally :D
PigeonCrowz Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2006
Hehehe, very cute. Even the frighteningly large testicles. :)
7amada Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2006
i love your art style
very unique and cool......................:D
triptychr Featured By Owner May 1, 2006  Hobbyist Writer
Well, it's a marketing ploy that'll garner some attention, that's for sure. :lol:

Nice depiction of a tanuki, actually. I like the design.
dead-but-smiling Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2006
Gotta fav this. It's green and it's tea.

No, the fav is not about the testicles :D.
anniemae04 Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2006  Professional Digital Artist
If you've seem Studio Ghibli's Pom Poko, they draw the testicles a remotly desent size but because the tanukis can change shape and morph into things the Tanukis can inflate them into huge ballons. A cute little movie.

It's a very nice graphic. I'm not sure but it feels the text in the middle is too close together. The Phrase "A spritely blend..." is too close to the grpahic behind "green tea", if you compare it to the space between "A spritely blend..." and "contains caffine". There seems to be more space above the green tea logo than below it. The word "green" in "green tea" looks scrunched. "Contains caffine may need to be smaller or not floating in the middle like that. Other wise I Love the format, the horizontal logo is good and nothing really needs to be too centured. Besides the little nitpicking of the text it's very cool!
Tiamatshapeshifter Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2006
Also actual raccoon dogs do have larger testicles that one would think. That's where the whole fertility association/tanuki depictions got it from, I believe. Scrotal circumference is often used to estimate fertile potential. They do this in both rams and bulls here in the US.
limepineapple Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2006
mario has a tanooki suit... it looks like a racoon...
should we begin to suspect that miyamoto is trying to say something? i'm kinda afeared.
forestsage Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2006   Writer
OMG, that description got my laughing so hard. You truely are a credit to deviantart. Thanks for all the time and effort you put in here.
jkearney Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2006
Oh no! Haha, this is so funny, I don't know how much tea it would sell...maybe to men, though...
Smoke-Z Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2006
"Pom Poko" racoon pouch *nervous twitter*

tails2k4 Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2006  Hobbyist Photographer
Looks really cute ^^ great work
ricey Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2006  Professional Digital Artist
im just curious, do the actual animals have gigantic nuts? and have you seen pompoko?
marggarg Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2006
The tanukis do have larger than average testicles for their size. However, they're not as big as they're depicted in Japanese culture. The Japanese seem to not be particularly shy about anatomy in general. I recently saw a link to a page about a festival where they celebrated fertility by having a parade and shrines with large phalluses. I personally think that the general American culture is too sensitive about anatomy, but that's just my two cents.

I should probably say something about the art as well, while I'm finally making a comment on here. I just wanted to say that I love your art and hopefully whenever I get a house of my own, I'll have to buy some of your art for my home as well.
ricey Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2006  Professional Digital Artist
wow, thank you very much!
YiorYeosa Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2006  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Well those raccoon dogs are spreading like wild fire. They have concerd the howl of asia and are now even reported in eastern Europe. They have a short livespan and are extreme opportunists.

The Japanese one's are somewhat smaller and lighter in colour, if memory serves me right.

And now a "Kitsune Black Thee" label. (All puppy eye's)
FlydianTheDestroyer Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2006
HA! Tanuki Magic! I wish they had an emoticon for that one!
fuzziekit Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2006  Hobbyist General Artist
I didn't even notice the anatomy at first... but I deffinatly do now. I am a tea lover so this is great. Very funny.
Fox-the-Kitsune Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2006
Oh wow... you actually did it! So definitely a favorite. *ahem* Uh, you actually could draw a tanuki with the... um... jewels... and it would be ok. They're sometimes shown instead with a wine jug and/or some food.
Camikaze Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2006
thomcomstock Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2006  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Beautiful work, as always. :)
thomcomstock Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2006  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I could use a bit of that Tanuki magic.
thejackbull Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2006  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
That is so cute... are those...balls..
Theory-Azael Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2006
Aww, I love this design! For someone who says she doesn't do commertial design, you're sure doing a good job of it. Lovely.
Night-Matter Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2006  Hobbyist General Artist
that's sooo cute. anyone remember tanukis from mario brothers
Vampire--Kitten Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2006  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh wow, when I move (which will be soon) I might take you up on your prints for this and the capy. one. I hope you make even more of these, they are too cute.
faerywitch Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2006  Professional Digital Artist
I never thought I would see the day in that animals testicles were also considered mature content! Oh, well...
i didnt know about Tanukis... I will have to go and do some research!
I like the colors in this label a lot! What about a Tamandua label, since we are in the cool animals moment?
UrsusArctos Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2006
I really like this series you have been working on- really great stuff!
Larkitten Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2006
BAMillustration Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2006  Professional General Artist
"Their large testicles are a representation of fertility and good fortune, and are said to be the source of their magical powers. The tanuki's large testicles are associated with wealth because the Japanese colloquial word for testicle is kindama, which means golden ball. In Japanese mythology, the Tanuki's scrotum can be enlarged to as much as eight tatami mats (one tatami is about 6'x3') and they play them like a drum."

nekogami Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2006
My love the mischievous Tanuki is strong. If you ask me, I know a pretty funny (naughty?) rhyme about them. Acutally got it from wikipedia.
elindith Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2006
The color use is good, but I think the character is not done. the paws don't give a sense of holding, knees are kind of sharp, and are those his nuts betwen his legs? :dygel:
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Submitted on
March 28, 2006
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