Japanese Kitsune (PART TWO)

Last Monday I posted part one of my research on the Japanese kitsune. You can find it (here) . This is the second and last part… And remember that this is all how I understand it. If I’m incorrect you’re not allowed to throw rocks at my head. Deal?









What each kitsune can do depends on what lore you’re reading, what kind of kitsune it is, and how old it is. They can…

  • Breathe fire
  • Posses humans and foxes
  • Become invisible
  • Manifest themselves in humans’ dreams
  • Fly
  • Ward off evil
  • Feed on the life or spirit of a human through sex
  • Bend time and space so that in a pocket of the human world, they can place another realm of their own making. These realms can take up no more than a few inches of space in the human realm. But inside they can be as vast as the kitsune wants it to be. For every human year, some lore states that seven years pass in these pocket realms.
  • Create illusions to confuse victims. The illusions are so elaborate that they are almost indistinguishable from reality.
  • In some lore they can take human form at 50 years old, others not until 100. Greatest of their abilities was to take human form. In some lore they did this for the purpose of trickery, in others they did so to become friends, lovers, or guardians.
  • Magickal mind control via eye contact. The victim will be trapped in the world the kitsune creates inside their own head until the magic is broken.
  • Can create small balls of floating fire when in fox form – to light their way or play with.

Kitsune are known for having as many as nine tails. The more tails it has the older, stronger, and wiser it is. Some folktales say a kitsune can only grow another tail once they’ve lived for 100 years. Even when they do have more than one tail, they normally do not display it.

They are sometimes said to carry around a ‘kitsune ball’, described as a pearl. They carry it in their mouths or on their tails when in fox form. There are two theories as to what they are used for. One, they hold some of the kitsune’s powers. Two, when possessing a human they hold the human’s soul. In either case if you get a hold of a kitsune’s ball they will beg for it back and if you play your cards right you can get a pretty good payment for giving it back. The deal you make needs to be specific.



  • The kitsune are emotional creatures; enjoy sensations. Theories on possible reasons for their appearance on the mortal plane is their intense love of what the mortal world has to offer.
  • Notorious seducers.
  • Quick to anger; easily provoked.
  • There are both female and male kitsune but when taking human form they are almost always a beautiful female. Whether or not they’re really a female. Even when they’re in male form (which is extremely rare) they are feminine in feature.
  • Freedom is very important to the kitsune.
  • Normally victimize men.
  • Fear and dislike dogs even while in human form. If in the presence of one they might become so unsettled that they’ll take their true form and flee.
  • They like living in families. Lone kitsune will try to find or create a family of their own. It is said that when it rains during a clear sky, that two kitsune are marrying each other. This is considered a good omen. Kitsune take revenge on any uninvited guests to their wedding though so no wedding crashing. It won’t be worth it.
  • They are friendly with and will help, protect, or teach those who they believe are moral. They will still show minor character flaws to these people to help them fix said flaws. They also still trick them here and there but not maliciously.
  • Very vengeful.
  • Keeping promises and honor is very important. If a human makes a promise to a kitsune and breaks it, the kitsune will then become vengeful and go to extreme lengths to have their revenge.
  • If a kitsune goes against their own moral code they will become self destructive.
  • They help immoral individuals along in their cruelty, bringing to light their true colors for other humans to see, so that they can then be brought to justice. This is only true of good kitsune, obviously.
  • Freedom is very important to kitsune. They do not accept help from others that do not want to help them and they do not easily ask for help but wait until another offers. They will not accept being forced into something they do not want to do/partake of.

I adore this photo!
Attribution: Shiretoko-Shari Tourist Association










Kitsune are here to teach lessons to those around them. They aren’t truly good or evil. They don’t accept or understand the concept of Good and Evil. They are the balance in between. They see things in the way of what is right and wrong.

A kitsune doesn’t go by (or have) human morals. Sometimes they will adopt the morals of the humans around them but this is normally out of survival instincts and to better fit in.

Folklore shows the kitsune playing tricks on overly proud Samari and those who are greedy or boastful. The cruel kitsune play tricks on the innocent commoners, humiliating them through seduction and other means and stealing their food.

Kitsune do not give their real name to mortals. Their real names can be used to bind them, banish them, or work magic on them. Kitsune will take on a name that is a joke or has something to do with their purpose for appearing.



If a kitsune gives you money or valuable items in payment of something you have done for them, it will usually turn out to be sticks or scraps of paper; an illusion. The only real payment or gifts they give are ones not physical. Like protection, knowledge, or long life.

If the kitsune have promised you their protection you need to be careful. As they might decided to bring you food or goods stolen from a neighbor – as they have no human morals forbidding them from doing this. Neighbors don’t like this very much.

Payment they demand of you (because they always want something from mortals) could be anything from a simple food item to a wife.



Kitsune are normally shown as lovers. When this is true, they’re no longer portrayed as seducers because they’re then in it for sensation, love, or both.

Kitsune feed off of humans through sex. As I said earlier, they are creatures who enjoy sensations and they enjoy making love to humans. Sex with a kitsune is said to be more pleasurable than sex with a human and humans can’t handle it. Most of the time they go insane or die.

However – when the kitsune takes a permanent lover and they are happy with each other, the human then lives and retains their sanity. Genuine love has a say here, if you ask me.

Lore does mention that if you are to make love to a kitsune while they’re in kami (spirit) form, you will either go insane or die. No ifs, ands, or buts.



The only reported weakness of the kitsune are humans who have faith.


So… in conclusion, if your name is Daphne Shadows – you think Kitsune rock. And you’re using one in your current manuscript. That you need to plot. AGAIN.

What’s your opinion on this particular folklore creature? Think I’m out of my mind – or do the kitsune have appeal to you too?



Filed under The Odd Bit

13 responses to “Japanese Kitsune (PART TWO)

  1. Pingback: Halloween Fun and Safety | DaphneShadows

  2. Pingback: Loki of Norse Mythology – Trickster #3 | daphneshadows

  3. A random thought popped in my head while reading both posts: could Kitsune be the reason why the slang term “fox”-when referring to a beautiful woman-has maintained some staying power in our culture for quite a while?

  4. This is really interesting. I didn’t know, well anything really, about Kitsunes. Thanks.

  5. I’m really enjoying your series on tricksters and I can’t wait till you post some more, though I can’t remember – were you going to post about Loki? I hope so! 🙂

    I nominated you for the Sunshine Award! I noticed after my post went up that Kina nominated you, too, but I figure that you deserve two nominations. I really enjoy your posts! 🙂

    • Thank you! I’m glad you’re enjoying it. 😀
      Yes, I have two more tricksters to cover: the coyote and Loki. Though I’m not sure which I’ll do first.

      Congrats on the award. And thank you for the nomination! That is so sweet! 😀

      • You’re welcome! 🙂

        Yay, I can’t wait to read about Loki! I thought you had said you’d be posting about him, but I couldn’t remember (then again, I’m lucky I can remember what I had for breakfast this morning). I have a character in my novel who sort of fits the trickster archetype in that he causes trouble but he’s neither good nor bad and his family nickname, coincidentally, is Loki. When he first sprouted in my head, he was much more evil than he is now, but then he had a much bigger part than what he eventually got, too. Still, without him, my antagonist wouldn’t be the villain that he is today. So, like I said, I can’t wait to read more about Loki. 🙂

      • Funny how some characters turn out to be so different once you get going lol.

        It’s all good – I have to use sticky notes if I want to remember anything. 😉

  6. This is excellent, Daphne. I want a Kitsune! They’re smart, cute, cuddly, and dangerous. I love their weakness – because you don’t meet many people these days who have faith in anything!
    Keep up the good work 🙂

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