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MFA for Educators

Engage your students with the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to illustrate themes and concepts in any discipline.

Tanuki Fortuneteller (Tanuki no uranai) (T) and Tanuki Shop Signs (Tanuki no kanban) (B), from an untitled series of Tanuki (Raccoon-dogs)

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In Japanese folklore, the racoon-dog (tanuki) is said to have a magically expandable scrotum.


Ichiyûsai Kuniyoshi giga (on each design) 一勇斎国芳戯画


By 1911, purchased by William Sturgis Bigelow (b. 1850–d. 1926), Boston [see note 1]; 1911, gift of Bigelow to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 19, 2005) NOTES: [1] Much of Bigelow's collection of Asian art was formed during his residence in Japan between 1882 and 1889, although he also made acquisitions in Europe and the United States. Bigelow deposited many of these objects at the MFA in 1890 before donating them to the Museum's collection at later dates.

Credit Line

William Sturgis Bigelow Collection

Japanese, Edo period, about 1843–44 (Tenpô 14–Kôka 1)

Catalogue Raisonné

Inagaki and Isao, Kuniyoshi no kyôga (1991), #21


Two horizontal chûban on uncut vertical ôban sheet; 35.5 x 23.8 cm (14 x 9 3/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Woodblock print (nishiki-e); ink and color on paper