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Dear Alice,

About 20 years ago, I lived in Fukui. When I traveled around that prefecture, I often saw statues outside restaurants that appeared to be of giant hedgehogs. They wore traditional clothing and gave me the impression of being “overly friendly,” perhaps because of their hugely oversize testicles. (I always thought such statues would be perfect for used-car lots here in the United States: “Come on in, we would love to scr*w you!”) However, I don’t recall seeing such statues elsewhere in Japan, or in any of the “Japan Towns” here in California. What the heck are those hedgehogs?

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