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In Japanese folklore, tanuki is a Japanese raccoon dog, noted as a shape-changing trickster.
A tanuki bonsai, is where a living tree is joined to a piece of deadwood to create a composite in the driftwood style. It is not genuine driftwood-style which are very rare.
The tanuki process enables the creation of a driftwood-style product from more commonly available materials. The technique involves adding living material (often juniper) to a section of deadwood via a groove in the deadwood. It is fixed using screws, wire wrappings, or clamps. Over time, the young tree grows into the deadwood channel, fusing with teh deadwood. Once matured the fixings are removed.
The picture shown is a Tanuki Juniper, courtesy of Wattston Bonsai.
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