The race is actually based on an animal known in Japanese as tanuki, or in English, known as the Japanese raccoon dog. The design of Raccoons from Super Mario Sunshine is also modeled after the tanuki statues all across Japan; the sun hat, shirt/coat, tail, and sash are all trademarks of the statues.
Super Mario Sunshine
In Super Mario Sunshine, the Boathouse in Delfino Plaza is run by two Raccoons, a father and his son. Ten Blue Coins can be traded there in exchange for one Shine Sprite. The father only accepts Blue Coins in increments of ten, and if Mario tries to ask for a Shine Sprite for less than ten Blue Coins, the father exclaims that he cannot sell the Shine Sprites at such a low price. Additionally, another Raccoon owns a small rowboat shack in Noki Bay. According to a sign near the shop, the boats can be rented for 90,000 coins, though after Mario uncorks the waterfall, the owner states that he is allowed to use them for free.
In the Super Mario Mash-Up Pack in Minecraft, Wandering Traders are replaced by Raccoons.
Names in other languages