illustration courtesy of white nine-tailed fox is by Isis Masshiro on Deviant Art 2
There are many reasons why being an author is one of the most awesome jobs in the world! Today, I’m going to tell you about one of my favorites: taking inspiration from the myths and legends I love, borrowing a couple of elements, and giving them new, exciting twists. And because I grew up with manga and anime, and I’ve always been fascinated by the Japanese folklore, of course I had to look into it and see what shapeshifters it had to offer. That’s how I learned about the kitsune and knew I had to write fox shifters, even though they’re not particularly popular in the genre.   Kitsune – Abilities and Classification Kitsune is the Japanese word for fox. They are seen as intelligent beings whose abilities increase with their age and wisdom. Most myths say that they learn how to shift into men or women only after they have lived 100 years. That’s when they also start growing more tails, each additional tail showing increased wisdom and magical abilities. The more tails a kitsune has, the older, wiser, and more powerful it is. The maximum number of tails a kitsune can have is nine. Other supernatural abilities attributed to foxes are: possession, mouths or tails that generate fire or lightening, flight, invisibility. In Japanese folklore, foxes can be classified as follows: – Inari foxes, also called zenko foxes. These are good foxes, who protect and help humans. They are strongly connected to Inari Ōkami, which is the kami […]

Guest Post: Fox Shifters in Japanese Folklore and Mythology by Cara Wylde