Monday, 3 August 2015

About Kitsune

HABITAT : found throughout Japan
FOOD : carnivorous, but fond of fried tofu


Foxes, or kitsune, are found all across Japan, and are identical to wild foxes found elsewhere in the world, apart from their incredible magical powers. Their cute faces and small size make them particularly loved by most people.

Kitsune Tails

A kitsune can have up to nine tails, depending on its age, wisdom and power. The only way to kill a kitsune is to cut off all of its tails, as it is said that one of the tails is its main tail and the source of all its power. Not knowing which tail is the main one, one would have to cut off all its tails to kill it.One, five, seven, and nine tails are the most common numbers in folk stories. When a kitsune gains its ninth tail, its fur becomes white or gold.

In some stories, kitsune have difficulty hiding their tails when they take human form; looking for the tail, perhaps when the fox gets drunk or careless, is a common method of discerning the creature's true nature. Variants on the theme have the kitsune retain other foxlike traits, such as a coating of fine hair, a fox-shaped shadow, or a reflection that shows its true form. Kitsune-gao or fox-faced refers to human females who have a narrow face with close-set eyes, thin eyebrows, and high cheekbones. Traditionally, this facial structure is considered attractive, and some tales ascribe it to foxes in human form. Kitsune have a fear and hatred of dogs even while in human form, and some become so rattled by the presence of dogs that they revert to the shape of a fox and flee. A particularly devout individual may be able to see through a fox's disguise automatically.

Kitsune Ability

A kitsune is a shapeshifter, and usually when it reaches the age of 100 years, it learn the ability to take on a human form. Thus, they have to be a fox for a hundred years before it can shapeshift from a fox to a human and back again. It is also said that a kitsune can duplicate other human beings, in other words shapeshift into the look-a-likes of different people. 
Kitsune can be either male or female, and usually take the form of young Japanese girls, beautiful women and older men. 

Kitsune are believed to possess superior intelligence, long life, and magical powers. They are a type of spiritual entity, and the word kitsune is often translated as fox spirit. However, this does not mean that kitsune are ghosts, nor that they are fundamentally different from regular foxes. Because the word spirit is used to reflect a state of knowledge or enlightenment, all long-lived foxes gain supernatural abilities.

Other supernatural abilities commonly attributed to the kitsune include possession, mouths or tails that generate fire or lightning (known as kitsune-bi; literally mean fox-fire), willful manifestation in the dreams of others, flight, invisibility, and the creation of illusions so elaborate as to be almost indistinguishable from reality. Some tales speak of kitsune with even greater powers, able to bend time and space, drive people mad, or take fantastic shapes such as a tree of incredible height or a second moon in the sky. Other kitsune have characteristics reminiscent of vampires or succubi and feed on the life or spirit of human beings, generally through sexual contact.

Hoshi no tama (Star Balls)

Kitsunes' have things called Hoshi no tama, or star balls, which is a small white-gold ball that is a Kitsune's most prized possession, since it is almost like their life force in a ball.

One belief is that when a kitsune changes shape, its hoshi no tama holds a portion of its magical power. Another tradition is that the pearl represents the kitsune's soul; the kitsune will die if separated from it for long. Those who obtain the ball may be able to extract a promise from the kitsune to help them in exchange for its return. For example, a 12th-century tale describes a man using a fox's hoshi no tama to secure a favor:
"Confound you!" snapped the fox. "Give me back my ball!" The man ignored its pleas till finally it said tearfully, "All right, you've got the ball, but you don't know how to keep it. It won't be any good to you. For me, it's a terrible loss. I tell you, if you don't give it back, I'll be your enemy forever. If you do give it back though, I'll stick to you like a protector god."
The fox later saves his life by leading him past a band of armed robbers.

Different types of Kitsune

There are two major variations of kitsune. Good foxes are servants of the Shinto deity Inari, and Inari’s shrines are often decorated with many statues and images of foxes. Legends tell of such celestial providing wisdom or service to good and pious humans. They act as messengers of the gods and mediums between the celestial and human worlds. These foxes often protect humans or places, providing good luck and warding evil spirits away. 

More common are the wild, occasionally wicked foxes, who delight in mischief, pranks, or evil. They are usually the subjects of stories in which foxes trick, or even possess humans and cause them to behave strangely. Despite this seemingly wicked nature, they usually keep their promises, remember friendships, and repay any favors done for them.

Wives and lovers

Kitsune are commonly portrayed as lovers, usually in stories involving a young human male and a kitsune who takes the form of a human woman. The kitsune may be a seductress, but these stories are more often romantic in nature. Typically, the young man unknowingly marries the fox, who proves a devoted wife. The man eventually discovers the fox's true nature, and the fox-wife is forced to leave him. In some cases, the husband wakes as if from a dream, filthy, disoriented, and far from home. He must then return to confront his abandoned family in shame.
Many stories tell of fox-wives bearing children. When such progeny are human, they possess special physical or supernatural qualities that often pass to their own children. The astrologer-magician Abe no Seimei was reputed to have inherited such extraordinary powers.

Other stories tell of kitsune marrying one another. Rain falling from a clear sky — a sunshower — is called kitsune no yomeiri or the kitsune's wedding, in reference to a folktale describing a wedding ceremony between the creatures being held during such conditions.The event is considered a good omen, but the kitsune will seek revenge on any uninvited guests.

Kitsune use in Shows

 Kubimon from Digimon

Kyuubi from Naruto

Ninetail from Pokemon

Miko from No Game No Life

Pipe Fox from xxxHolic