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Origin 1[]


"Tanuki" from Gazu Hyakki Yagyo by Sekien Toriyama.

Kyobu, or Gyobu, is a rather famous, and powerful tanuki. Inugami Gyoubu or Gyoubu-danuki is a bake-danuki told about in legends passed down in Matsuyama, Iyo Province. He is known due to appearing in the "Tale of the Eight Hundred and Eight Tanuki Matsuyama Distrubance", which is considered one of the three big tales about tanuki along with the Shojoji no Tanuki-bayashi and Bunbuku Chagama.

Origin 2[]

The tanuki has a long history in Japanese legend and folklore. Bake-danuki are a kind of tanuki yōkai found in the classics and in the folklore and legends of various places in Japan. Although the tanuki is a real, extant animal, the bake-danuki that appears in literature has always been depicted as a strange, even supernatural animal. The earliest appearance of the bake-danuki in literature, in the chapter about Empress Suiko in the Nihon Shoki written during the Nara period, there are such passages as "in two months of spring, there are tanuki in the country of Mutsu, they turn into humans and sing songs". Bake-danuki subsequently appear in such classics as the Nihon Ryōiki and the Uji Shūi Monogatari. In some regions of Japan, bake-danuki are reputed to have abilities similar to those attributed to kitsune (foxes): they can shapeshift into other things, shapeshift people, and possess human beings.