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Tanuki's Teacup

By ursulav
244 Favourites
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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Published:   |  Mature
© 2006 - 2020 ursulav
anonymous's avatar
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lil-water-fae's avatar
ahahaha so cute! :nana: i love all the labels!
Taren14's avatar
I was wondering why this was somewhat censored until I saw the picture and remembered the defining characteristic of a tanuki.
cmiranda123's avatar
I love that you gave it huge testicles. lol very authentic.
spookybunnie's avatar
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's avatar
Hey, at least he's not turning his balls into parachutes and frogs and carpets and bludgeons like in Pom Poko.
g3m1n1's avatar
what happens if the tanuki is female? or are all of them male?
TigrisTheLynx's avatar
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's avatar
In wikipedia, apparently Tanuki's have...oversized testicles o.0 because it symbolizes financial luck.

Juuuuuuuuust wanted to answer your question....
Drink-The-Nectar's avatar
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's avatar
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's avatar
they make 'em wit big nabs cuz actual tanukis have big nabs
sweets8's avatar
odd, funny, though true, fufufu 83
DruidElf's avatar


Pom Poko.
ShyriaDracnoir's avatar
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's avatar
Tanuki testacles make me hot.
WoodenCoyote's avatar
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's avatar
I love this!
I wish someone could make a tanuki brand tea just to see this on the package
sad-roses's avatar
I thought they were a cushion he was sitting on
Your..conceptions are always incredible..literally :D
PigeonCrowz's avatar
Hehehe, very cute. Even the frighteningly large testicles. :)
7amada's avatar
i love your art style
very unique and cool......................:D
triptychr's avatar
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's avatar
Gotta fav this. It's green and it's tea.

No, the fav is not about the testicles :D.
anniemae04's avatar
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!
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