The Japanese raccoon dog, also known as the tanuki, is a species of canid endemic to Japan. It is one of two species in the genus Nyctereutes, alongside the common raccoon dog, which it was formerly thought to be a subspecies of. As the tanuki, the animal has been significant in Japanese folklore since ancient times. The legendary tanuki is reputed to be mischievous and jolly, a master of disguise and shapeshifting, but somewhat gullible and absentminded. It is also a common theme in Japanese art, especially statuary.
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