Bake-Danuki: Mocked by the Japanese Racoon Dogs

Tanuki or Racoon dog statue. Banna-ji. Ashikaga, Tochig.

Our mythologies are littered with malicious spirits and malcontent, sometimes murderous monsters. This is understandable, because life can often be terrible; the horrors of the day revisit us at night in the forms of dreams filled with Things Best Left Unmentioned.

And then there are the not so rotten days, days filled with SNAFUs, but nothing a sane person can’t cope with. Not perfect days, but not soul crushing either.

Of course, these days have their own private store of critters, but these are more bent on mischief than malevolence.

One such example of a beast that is more goofy than ghoulish is the Yōkai (Spirit) version of the Japanese Racoon Dog (Tanuki.), known colloquially as the Bake-Danuki.

Now, every good monster has a unique characteristic, something that makes them special.

The Bake-Danuki have eight distinguishing features, out of which one is definitely noteworthy:

Perhaps this is the right time to segue to one of the paragons of Australian lyricism, Bon Scott:

I’ve got big balls
I’ve got big balls
They’re such big balls
And they’re dirty big balls
And he’s got big balls
And she’s got big balls
(But we’ve got the biggest balls of them all!)


A tanuki displayed in a Buddhist Japanese temple.

Yes, the single (or perhaps double) distinguishing characteristic of the Bake-Danuki are their enormous testicles, which are large enough that they can swing them over their heads and use them like backpacks, and are taut enough to be used as drums.

Now for something completely different; jump-cut back to the 2016 U.S. Election:

On August 19th 2016, while future U.S. president/Twitter Warrior Donald Trump was polling at 24% in the Republican primaries, Deez Nuts was edging out other candidates; according to the firm Public Policy Polling, Nuts was garnering between 7-9% of the votes in North Carolina, Minnesota and Iowa.

Is Deez Nuts a Bake-Danuki?

Is Donald Trump a Bake-Danuki?

Seeing as we all got Punk’d for four years, maybe it’s time for the Alt-Right to dump Pepe the Frog, and roll out a new meme, testes and all…

Deez Nuts, the Bake-Danuki.


A Japanese playground chant:

Tan-tan-tanuki no kintama wa,
Kaze mo nai no ni,
Bu-ra bura
English translation:
Tan-tan-tanuki’s bollocks,
Even without wind,
They swiiing-swing!

How else can you spot a Bake-Danuki, you might ask?

Asides from aforementioned comically enlarged bollocks, there are seven more features to keep an eye out for:

  • a hat – because a Bake-Danuki never knows how the weather will turn out
  • big eyes, well, because big eyes, right? Good for seeing stuff.
  • A sake bottle, because who doesn’t enjoy the wisdom of a drunk Spirit Racoon Dog?
  • a big tail for support and perseverance
  • a promissory note (apparently this Yokai prefers IOUs to cold hard cash)
  • a big belly (so that’s where all the Sake went)
  • a friendly smile, because d), all of the above.

So what’s the take-away?

In world filled with monsters, both real and imagined, it’s sometimes nice to know that not everything that goes bump in the night is necessarily out to kill us. Yes, the liminal spaces hold many a critter, some of whom are downright unpleasant, but this particular Yokai bears us no real ill will, and I am grateful…

I, for one, have no desire to find myself locked in a metaphysical/psycho-magical battle with Deez Nuts.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Satan Clause.

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