Feature: How Japanese Folklore Inspired Mario’s Tanooki Suit

The original Mario Tanooki Suit

What’s a Tanooki, anyway?

Ever since Super Mario Bros. 3 landed on store shelves, when Nintendo fans hear the word “tanooki” they almost always produce an excited smile and start reminiscing about days spent flying through levels as Racoon Mario. If you were to utter this same word today around these same Nintendo fans you’d probably get a much larger outcry of joy, seeing as the Tanooki Suit is about to make its triumphant return inSuper Mario 3D Land. But, have you ever wondered what actually inspired the creation of Mario’s Tanooki Suit? Ever wondered why it is sometimes called the “Racoon Suit” instead? Let’s unravel the mysteries as we take a look at the Tanooki Suit that we know today, and also step into the mysterious world of Japanese Folklore to understand the origins of this legendary suit.

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