Kitsune-Japanese fox

Please join a free Shinjkuku Kagurazaka walk!

Kitsune-Japanese fox

Dancing Kitsune Fox

It is believed that Kitune , namely Japanese fox, has supernatural powers in Japan.  In Japanese folklore, Kitune, often transforms into a beautiful woman, young girl.  The Kabuki play “Kuzunoha” is a sad romantic story and ”White fox” is Japanese opera based on “Kuzunoha” .  At festivals men with Kitune masks sometimes dances.  

In certain districts, the bride puts on a kitune mask when they are going to their husbands house to get married.  In addition, there is a term “Kitune no yomeiri” meaning Kitune’s marriage.  This term signifies “a shower when the sun is shining”.  This may derive from the character of Kitune easily changing into a woman or man in the forklore.  Also, in some districts of Japan, “Kitune no yomeiri” means a row of fox fire, ie “Kitune-bi”(a Japanesewill-o‘-the-wisp). 

I once watched Parade of Kitsune Festival held in in Ohji on December 31th.  It was so magical and visional.  That night has become unforgettable in my life.  
In Nara, the Genkuro-Inari Shrine Spring Big Festival is held on the first Sunday of April.  Children wear white fox mask and parade the streets.  Kitune is the messanger of INARI(the god of cereal).  Who worship INARI are said to be blessed with plentiful crops and prosperous trade. 

In our walking, the guide puts Kitune mask on somewhere her body.   Kitune is sort of a character in the play. You can put on Kitune in this walking as well.
Here is Ukiyoe of Kitune in Edo era.

Fox fire Under the Enoki tree in Ohji By Hiroshige Utagawa

I am sure that the maze-like lanes in Kagurazaka would go well with Kitsune masks.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Scroll to Top