Kitsune

Magical fox. Many in this species enjoy taking human form. Always curious. Legends list them as trickers and manipulators2.   Loyal to their mates.   Ways to tell if someone you meet is a kitsune: ask them to say 'moshi, moshi' -- foxes can't say 'shi', sometimes their tails peek out from under their clothes if they're not adept at shifting to the human form, and their shadow and reflections often show as a fox instead of the human form.  

Basic Information

Anatomy

Can have 1-9 tails. (The number increases with it's experience/age. Though tails can be removed as a form of punishment from the gods.)

Genetics and Reproduction

Only two kitsune can give birth to another of their kind. Human/kitsune hybrids have more magical abilities but don't have the kitsune ki well to be as powerful.   We often hear of the females in the myths. Though, there are a few stories with males. This points to the fact that males are quite rare, and males almost never seek romantic companionship outside of thier race1.

Growth Rate & Stages

Kitsune gestation and growth rates are slower than that of the average fox and shorter than that of humans.  
Gestation
~90 days
Time to Maturity
~5 years
Age Allowed to Take a Mate
20 years, though older is common (one is expected to get the years of play out of their system and learn the ways of the world before taking on the responsibilities of a family)

Additional Information

Perception and Sensory Capabilities

Magical beings capable of shapeshifting.   Like any naturally magic creature, they can sense magic.

Civilization and Culture

Naming Traditions

Traditionally, names were given denoting things in nature (燕 Tsubame - swallow) , wishes for the child (大輔 Daisuke - great help), or significant births (久子 Hisako - first in a long time). But in modern times as kitsune blend in among humans, they tend to take on human names.

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9-tailed Grey Kitsune by Amy Winters-Voss.png
Lifespan
1000+ years
Conservation Status
Endangered - due to human expansion into kitsune territory, hunting, and human/kitsune mixed marriages.   Modern kitsune blend in with human society as best they can to survive. Kitsune parents put immense amounts of pressure for their offspring to help expand the race.
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
Red (young), Silver (older), or White (venerable, often messengers for Inari)

Updates

12/27/2019
Updated with gestation and growth rates
 

Articles under Kitsune



Cover image: by Odette.A.Bach (Art), AWV (text)
This article has no secrets.

Comments

Author's Notes

1 This is a likely change from the actual Japanese views on kitsune. But it seemed like a fun explanation for so few males in the stories I'd read and adds interest to my stories.

2 In Liminal Chronicles, I have deviated from and simplified the kitsune society stratification. For more details on their society, see Matthew Meyer's Yokai.com and his upcoming book The Fox's Wedding: a Compendium of Japanese Folklore.


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Yarik
Rafael Martin
16 Dec, 2020 12:47

This is a fun take! I'm not too familiar with japanese mythology, so I don't know if you made up the part where they can't say "shi", but it's a fun fact either way. I like your explanation that female Kitsunes are more common and that's why we only ever see them in stories.

18 Dec, 2020 16:52

Thank you! It is actually part of the lore that they can't say 'Shi'.

Author of the upcoming book Rise: Liminal Chronicles |
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