Once upon a time, in the far away land of Japan, a magical creature was brought to life.
His name was Tanuki.
Tanuki was known throughout the land as a friendly creature. One day, as he was casually walking to meet his friends, Tanuki came across a large golden object in the middle of the road. When he picked it up, he realized was an acorn! Just then, a mysterious vision appeared, urging Tanuki to fulfill his destiny by completing a challenging quest- delivering the acorn to the emperor of his homeland. Though the trip promised to be long and treacherous, courageous Tanuki was willing to go. The fearless animal braved unrelenting rain storms and frightening dark forests before he finally reached the incredible castle where the emperor was waiting for his promised delivery. Pleased with his gift and impressed with Tanuki's bravery, the emperor bestowed magical powers upon Tanuki as a special reward for his service. Now, Tanuki uses his abilities to bring fortune, prosperity and cheerfulness to everyone he encounters.
Recently, Tanuki visited South Beach in Miami. He was so delighted by the sunny weather and fun, energetic atmosphere that he decided to make South Beach his new home, settling on the corner of 11th Street and Alton Road. The wondrous creature welcomes everyone to the extraordinary pan-Asian restaurant there, which was named Tanuki in his honor. He smiles at all who pass by and graciously invites them in to try the amazing dishes prepared by his friend, fantastic chef Drew Andrade and the unforgettable cocktails invented by Thomas Latoson.
Tanuki is a kind and generous spirit who shares his love of eating with everyone he meets - fried rice and tasty noodles are his personal favorites! His pudgy belly shows how positive and confident he is, and his big round eyes give him good judgment and assist with spending his gold wisely. Tanuki shares these gifts with all he encounters, in addition to bringing good fortune and happiness everywhere he goes. The beloved Tanuki can't wait to see new visitors and old friends at his Alton Road spot. Don't forget to take a picture with him or simply greet him when you arrive so that he may bestow his gifts upon you!
When visiting the restaurant, try to come closer to the magical Tanuki! Legend says that if you touch his stomach it will bring money and prosperity, if you put your hand on his cheek your love life will improve, and if you touch his hand you'll make new friends soon. Last but not least, if you simply look into his eyes, it’s guaranteed that great things are on the way!
Did you know that tanuki actually exist in the wild?! Here are some interesting facts about these raccoon dogs:
- Tanuki are native to eastern Asia, including Japan, but are also becoming widespread throughout northern and eastern Europe.
- Tanuki can often be found near water. During fall, Tanuki are dependent on fruits and berries, which impacts habitat selection (Miami is a great place for Tanuki, right?)
- Similar to the Maneki Neko cat, for centuries the Japanese society has associated Tanuki with luck and magical folklore.
- Do you remember the 1990 Nintendo game Super Mario Bros. 3? Well we do! In the game, Mario's "Tanooki Suit" granted him the ability to switch into a raccoon- like animal who could fly.
- A new kind of Tanuki was recently found! In 2013, a white Tanuki with blue eyes was discovered on a little farm in Japan. Scientists state that Tanuki continue to evolve and develop (Fortunately for us this means more luck is coming!).