The kitsune is one of the most beloved yokai, and is a pretty common spirit throughout East Asian folklore. If you’ve ever been to Japan, you’ve no doubt seen statues of foxes at many shrines. The fox is considered a magical animal in Japan, and Japanese mythology is full of tales of foxes. There are both benevolent and malevolent foxes — good ones are connected to the god Inari — and they are believed to possess both long life and incredible intelligence, as well as magical powers.
The older a fox gets, the more powerful its magic becomes. It is said that after reaching 100 years of age, a fox learns how to shapeshift into a human; and indeed there are many stores of foxes interacting with humans in this way, including falling in love and even marriage. As foxes increase in age, they are also said to grow more tails. After reaching 1000 years old, a fox receives its ninth tail. At this point, it’s fur becomes white or gold, and it is able to hear and see anything happening anywhere in the world, and it gains infinite wisdom. These foxes are called kyubi no kitsune, and this is what I’ve drawn for you today:
Anyway, kitsune are such an important and interesting part of Japanese folklore, I strongly suggest you search around and read more about them. They’re just plain awesome.
The Kyubi no Kitsune is beautiful! I love Japanese culture and foxes have been a favorite of mine since childhood. Is there a way to purchase this or at least a copy of it?
Thanks very much! 🙂 I’m currently making prints of the yokai series, and either today or tomorrow I will be able to put them up onto my Etsy store: http://osarusan.etsy.com
Wow, so cute! I’d hang that in my living room ^_^
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