Shigaraki Tanuki Village - Visitors to Japan will no doubt have noticed the ceramic statues in front of many houses and shops, resembling plump animals with traditional straw hats often with a bottle of sake and prominent, huge, sagging testicles. Fans of Ghibli films will know tanuki as one of the heroes in Pompoko. Tanuki, is a Japanese raccoon. It is believed that tanuki can change shape - usually a more mischievous characters though inoffensive and playful. This creature is popular thanks to its magic powers and personality. These traits are represented in the figurines and are regarded as a typical local product from Shigaraki in Shiga Prefecture. Shigaraki is a peaceful village, situated in a region known for pottery workshops. Tanuki figurines and large clay pots are dotted along the side of the road. Shigaraki is not only home to pottery producers and their workshops. Since the start of the 1950s, a centre has been welcoming those with mental impairments and pioneering an integration project by involving them in work.