For instance, the former Tokyo-Mitsubishi Bank not long ago used the Tanuki (and a Kappa river imp) to promote its DC credit card (a campaign since ended). It is neither -- it is an atypical species of dog that can grow up to 60 cm.in length, with distinctive stripes of black fur under its eyes.For all practical purposes, the moniker “TANUKI” includes other similar creatures like the badger, racoon, the mujina 貉 and mami 貒 (other names for Tanuki in some Japanese localities), wild mountain dogs and cats, and most other fox-like creatures.This confusion is sometimes the source of great amusement.Today, the Tanuki are cheerful, lovable, and benevolent rogues who bring prosperity and business success.For more on Tanuki’s metamorphosis from bad guy to good guy, see Tanuki Origins.More surprisingly, most of these attributes were created in very modern times (in the last three centuries; see Tanuki in Modern Times).
They live in burrows, and come out after sunset until the wee hours of the morning.
The original evil parts come from old China and its fox lore (introduced to Japan between the 4th-7th centuries CE).
The newer tamer parts, such as the big belly, belly drumming, giant scrotum, and sake bottle can be traced to late Edo-era Japan (18th-19th centuries), while the commercialized benevolent parts (promissory note, straw hat) emerged in Japanese artwork around the beginning of the 20th century.
Instead, it has shape-changed into a harmless and amusing fellow, one more interested in encouraging generosity and cheerfulness among winers and diners than in annoying humankind with its tricks.
Tanuki are also portrayed as cute and lovable characters in modern cartoons and movies -- even as mascots in commercial campaigns. It is often confused with the badger (ana-guma) and the raccoon (arai-guma).