Yoshitaka Amano: Kitsune and Tanuki

Yoshitaka Amano, The Sandman: Dream Hunters


This is a scan from my copy of Neil Gaiman and Yoshitaka Amano's "The Dream Hunters".

On this page, the "fox" and the "badger" are conversing.

Some information on the "fox and badger" myths of Japan:

"kitsune" is the Japanese word for 'fox', specifically the Hokkaido fox and the Japanese red fox

"tanuki" is the Japanese word for 'raccoon dog'; there are no 'badgers' and 'raccoons' in Japan. The 'badgers' in Japanese folklore are actually the Japanese raccoon dogs, which are neither raccoons nor dogs, but they do resemble the ancestral forms of the canidae (dog family).

- both of them are considered to be tricksters and shapeshifters. In most cases, they are merely mischievous; when they are irked, however, they are said to be formidable and vengeful enemies of humans.

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Browse Yoshitaka Amano Gallery: Recent | Popular.


  1. Ian-T Jul 16, 2010

    While you are correct that "tanuki" is the Japanese word for the Japanese "raccoon dog" (Nyctereutes procyonoides viverrinus) there is also the Japanese badger (Meles anakuma), just to add to the confusion!

    In P. Craig Russell's graphic novel version of the same story, he actually illustrates the animal in question as a badger (which it is called in that version of the text) - see: http://page247.wordpress.com/2010/04/19/sandmanthe-dream-hunters-by-neil-gaiman-and-p-craig-russell/

  2. kyubichan Jul 16, 2010

    Thanks for the info! ^^ Now I wonder if the "badger" in the story is supposed to be a tanuki or a real (Japanese) badger...

  3. mika3169 Aug 15, 2010

    Thanks for sharing ! Amano is a god ! I love his art so much !

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