Kitsune is a supernatural shapesifting creature that is similar to werewolves. Their name is the Japanese word for fox. There are two subspecies of foxes in Japan, named Red Fox and Hondo Kitsune, and they are both related to mythological belief in Japasese folklore.
Kitsune are believed to possess great intelligence, long life, and magical powers. Foremost among these is the ability to shapeshifting into human form; a fox is said to learn to do this when it attains a certain age (usually a hundred years, though some tales say fifty).
Kitsune usually appears in the shape of a beautiful woman, a young girl, or an old man, but almost never an elderly woman.
The word kitsune is often translated as fox spirit ghosts, however this doesn’t mean that they are not living creatures, nor that they are not foxes.
The word spirit is used in its Eastern meaning, reflecting a state of knowledge or enlightenment. Any fox who lives sufficiently long, therefore, can be a fox spirit. There are two major types of kitsune; the myobu, or celestial fox, associated with Inari, who are presented as benevolent. and the nogitsune, or wild fox, who are often represented as malicious.
AppearanceEditKitsune are mostly noticed for is their tails as a fox may possess as many as nine of them. Generally, an older and more powerful fox will possess a greater number of tails, and some sources say that a fox will only grow additional tails after they have lived for a thousand years. After that period of time, the number increases based on age and wisdom (depending on the source). However, the foxes that appear in folk stories almost always possess one, five, or nine tails, not any other number.
Kistunes looks like a regular human being but have the ability to partially shapeshift themselves into animal-like qualities. A Kitsune's primary weapon is their claws; they can extend claws from their finger tips upon demand. And, if they are feeding or attacking, their eyeballs turn yellow and fox-like while the pupils narrow. All in all they take on a very similar appearance a werewolf does.
Powers and AbiltiesEdit
- Shapeshifting: Kitsunes can take human form by shapeshifting into a human. They can also shapeshift into their true appearance, a large fox creature.
- Enhanced Super Strength: Kitsunes are stronger than humans. They can easily knock down and overpower humans with little difficulty. Like with Werewolves, Skinwalkers, and other shapeshifters, a Kitsune's strength increases in its fox form.
- Fox-Fire: Kitsune can produce/create fire and lightning by rubbing their tails together. Kitsune can also create small balls of fire and even breathe fire. Kitsune are also able to absorb a large amount of electricity into her body. The foxfire appears to be more than just electrical. There is apparently a magical component as well as Kitsune was able to use lightning to repair a broken human.
- Dream Manipulation: Kitsune can cause willful manifestation in the dreams of others
- Magic: Like witches, Kitsune can study any normal field of magic.
- Mind Control: Similar to vampires, a kitsune can cause someone to see anything the kitsune wishes, or overlook anything the kitsune wants them to, similar to compulsion.
- Super Speed: Kitsunes possess supernatural speed that is described as almost fox-like, making them faster than humans. Along with their strength, they use their speed to catch their prey or enemies off guard and kill them swiftly and expediently. In fox form, their speed increases.
- Claws: All Kitsunes have long talon-like claws that they use to tear at their victims with. Along with their strength and speed, their claws are mostly used to kill prey.
- Enhanced Healing: Kitsune exhibit accelerated healing, although it takes them some time to recover from several bullet wounds.
- Invulnerability: Kitsune are invulnerable to any form of harm. They can only die if they're stabbed in the heart, or starvation.
- Longevity: Kitsune have an extended life span. Some have been know to be as old as 900 years of age.
Kitsune are difficult to kill.
- Heart destruction: A Kitsune can only be killed by being stabbed in the heart with a knife or dagger. This is the only known method of how to kill them.
- Decapitation: The act of removing the Kitsune's head will result in death.
- Heart Extraction: It is possible that removing the Kitsune's heart will result in death.
- Starvation: Without a regular supply of human brains (more specifically, pituitary glands) they will die.
Kitsune are often associated with the deity of rice known as Inari. Originally 'kitsune were Inari’s messengers, but the line between the two has become so confused that Inari is sometimes depicted as a fox.
In Japanese folklore, the kitsune are often presented as tricksters; sometimes very malevolent ones. The tricksters kitsune employ their magical powers to play tricks on people; those portrayed in a favourable light tend to choose as targets overly-proud samurai, greedy merchants, and boastful commoners, while the more cruel kitsune tend to abuse poor tradesmen and farmers or Buddhist monks.
Despite their role as tricksters, however, a kitsune will keep a promise it has given and will strive to repay any favour it owes Occasionally a kitsune will take a liking to and attach itself to a certain person or household; as long as it is treated with respect, it will use its powers for the benefit of its companion or hosts.
Kitsune are also commonly portrayed as lovers. These love stories usually involve a young human male and a kitsune who takes the form of a woman. Sometimes the kitsune is assigned the role of seductress, but often these stories are romantic in nature. Such a story usually involves the young man unknowingly marrying the fox, and emphasizes the devotion of the fox-wife.
Many of these stories also possess a tragic element — they usually end with the discovery of the fox, who then must leave her husband. On some occasions, the husband wakes, as if from a dream, to find himself far from home, filthy, and disoriented, and must often return to confront his abandoned human family in shame.
Victims of kitsunetsuki were often treated cruelly in hopes of forcing the fox to leave. It was not unusual for them to be beaten or badly burned. On some occasions, entire families were ostracized by their communities after a member of the family was believed to be possessed. In Japan, kitsunetsuki was a common diagnosis for insanity as recently as the early [20th century. Possession was the explanation for the abnormal behaviour displayed by the afflicted individuals.
Kitsune are reputed to be inordinately fond of deep fried tofu, a number of dishes, containing deep fried tofu, reference this love in their name; Kitsune Udon (udon noodle soup served with several pieces of deep fried tofu) and Inari zushi (sushi rice packed into pockets of deep freid tofu that have been simmered in a broth of soy sauce, mirin and rice vinegar).