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Kitsune. The Japanese word for fox.
Here it refers to the seven tailed fox of Japanese mythology.
Stories depict them as intelligent, and possessing magical abilities that increase with their age and wisdom.
According to Yokai folklore, all foxes have the ability to shape shift into women. While some folktales speak of kitsune employing this ability to trick others, other stories portray them as faithful guardians, friends, lovers, and wives.
Foxes and human beings lived close together in ancient Japan: this companionship gave rise to legends about the creatures. Kitsune have become closely associated with Inari, a Shinto kami, or spirit, and serve as its messengers.
The more tails a kitsune has (they may have as many as nine) the older, wiser, and more powerful it is.
Artist: Ray VanTilburg
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