Real-Life Yasaburō Rescued From The Eccentric Family Shrine Well
posted on by Jennifer Sherman
Tanuki are not just folkloric creatures but also the real raccoon dogs who roam the forests of Japan. (Although the official English version of Pom Poko and other sources refer to tanuki as "raccoons," they are a completely different from the North American mammal, which can also be found in Japan.) One wily little tanuki recently got a chance to show its true colors at a setting from The Eccentric Family anime that stars the tanuki Yasaburō Shimogamo.
The official Twitter account of Shimogamo Shrine, which provides the name for the tanuki family in the anime, posted a picture on Saturday of a tanuki in a live trap. The shrine found the tanuki in an unused well and decided to care for the creature while it regained its strength. The shrine was giving the tanuki a few days to recover. However, the tanuki soon escaped and ran away. The post called the creature "cold-hearted" for giving its rescuers the slip.
Kyoto's Shimogamo Shrine appears in The Eccentric Family anime. The protagonist Yasaburō is also known as "run-away Yasaburō." Online commenters were quick to wonder if the shrine could have found the actual Yasaburō who managed to get himself into trouble in a well. Maybe Yasaburō got lost looking for a friend. After all, his brother Yajirō resides in a well in Rokudo Chinno-ji, a temple also located in Kyoto.
The anime franchise was named Kyoto Special Goodwill Ambassador in January. P.A. Works revealed that the anime "[raised] the world's awareness of Kyoto's attractions," which led to "an increase in tourism and improving of the Kyoto brand."