Tuesday, October 20, 2009

[Creature Feature] Kitsune

It's October, so once again, this means Creature Features. First up, the Kitsune!

Kitsune are the original foxy ladies.

Also known as the Kumiho in Korea or the Huli Jing in China, there’s legends all over about mischievous fox spirits who can change shape.

In Japan, they’re connected with the Shinto god of rice, Inari, and believed to be long-lived, magical and super-smart pranksters.

After they’ve lived for about 1,000 years, a kitsune can grow an additional tail, up to about nine. When they get their ninth tail, their fur then turns gold or white. Common Japanese myths of the middle ages believed that any single woman met alone at night could be a fox. This is still pretty true today.

Kitsune typically hate dogs and will even run away in many circumstances. On the plus side, for a supernatural critter of Asia, the kitsune are very good about keeping their word, although they are still big practical jokers.

The legends are filled with stories of kitsune who marry young men and even have kids with them, but often leave if their true identities are discovered.

And for those of you who are interested in making a costume? This one’s also about as easy as it get. Just look nice and dress like an ordinary person, and you can claim you’re a kitsune in human disguise. You can add a fox tail if you want, but that may be overkill. Or attract the attention of a real kitsune.

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