Raccoon Dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides). Native to Japan, they are the inspiration for Tanuki, the mythical Japanese creature. Tanuki statues, often found outside restaurants in Japan, wear big, cone-shaped hats and carry bottles of sake in one hand, and a "promissory note" (a bill it never pays), or sometimes an empty purse, in the other hand. They have a large belly and huge testicles, representing fertility and plenty. Called Kin-tama (Golden Balls) in Japanese, the testes are supposedly symbols of good luck.
食べ盛り , originally uploaded by maisuke* .
This was an honest and interesting first part in a series of interviews with a Zen Monk.