Thursday, May 25, 2017

#FolkloreThursday: Kitsune

Here we are friends with the final installment of my #folklorethursday blogs. Today's folklore name is the Japanese fox, the Kitsune.

Prince Hanzoku terrorized by a nine-tailed fox. Print by Utagawa Kuniyoshi, 19th century.
*The term "kitsune" is Japanese for "fox". In Japanese folklore, foxes are a common subject. Legend has it they are intelligent beings, possessing magical abilities that increase their age and wisdom. In Yokai folklore all foxes have the ability to shape in human form.

The legends of the kitsune began in ancient Japan; foxes and humans lived closely together during the period. It has become closely associated with Inari, Shinto kami or spirit, and serves as its messengers.

Other stories of the kitsune depict them as tricksters, faithful guardians, friends, lovers, and wives. The one notable aspect of them are the number of tails they have. More tails a kitsune has (many as nine), the older, wiser, and more powerful it is.

That's all for the #FolkloreThursday blog series, folks! It's been a pleasure to explore these myths and legends with you!



  1. Drew -- I recently read a SF novel, *Ninefox Gambit,* which indirectly references this creature. Fascinating to see a bit of the mythological background . . .

    1. That sounds interesting, Rick. I'll have to read it.