The Tanooki tail is back in a big way this year, but it's time to take a look back at when and how it entered the Mario canon way back in Super Mario Bros. 3.

Chris Covell's website has a translation of The Stars of Famicom Games, a 1989 book taking a sneaky peek at how Mario's greatest 8-bit adventure was created, from ideas to manufacturing. Shigeru Miyamoto, Koji Kondo, Takashi Tezuka and Hideki Konno are all pictured in their much younger days, with interesting (if odd) bits of information like:

Mr. Miyamoto always carries a bag with him when he goes walking. He's used it so much that the color has faded. But inside the bag are many little items that he says will aid him in thinking up fun ideas. What's in the bag is a secret to everyone.

We suspect it's full of puppies, fitness materials and notes about daughter-in-law bullying games.