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(raccoon dog). Often referred to in English as a badger. Mammal of the family Canidae, native to East Asia but also introduced to northern Europe. It resembles the North American raccoon, but it lacks the ring pattern on the tail. The tanuki has long been compared with the fox in Japan as a crafty animal possessing supernatural powers, but unlike the latter it is considered to be amusing rather than fearsome. It appears in many folk tales and songs. (adapted from Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia. Tokyo: Kodansha, 1993)

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