Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Kitsune means fox in Japanese. It's often referred to as fox spirit which possesses the power to disguise itself as a human being.
There are two kinds; Zenko, the good fox, served as messenger of the god of agriculture, and the Yako, the outsider.
Last year we took a trip to Kyoto and visited Fushimi Inari Shrine. The endless rows of bright orange gates led us along the quiet, chilly forest on a Fall afternoon. Stone sculptures of the kitsune stands beside the path every half a mile or so. It was pretty creepy at the time since I didn't know these foxes are on the good team with the Shinto god (but would it make any difference?)
I have to say though, these tricky little fox can't quite compete with Tanuki when it comes to who gets the most shelf space in Kyoto gift shops. And of course, they both get beaten out by that waving kitty. Cats always win.