From Otherkin Wiki

Kitsune are fox spirits found in Japanese folklore. They are popularly known for their multiple tails, supernatural powers and association with Inari Ōkami. Kitsune were prominent in otherkin and related nonhuman circles in the mid-to-late-2000s. Some community members noted that they were disproportionally prevalent compared to other types of yokai.[1] Despite an apparent decline broadly, they continue to maintain their own communities today.

Experiences[edit | edit source]

A frequently discussed trait among kitsune is their tails. It was common for kitsune in the kitsune-kin livejournal to state how many their form had in their introductions.[2] Many consider the number to represent something important about themselves, although opinions differ on what.[3] They may have an intuitive sense of how many they have, or may determine this through experiencing them as phantom limbs.[4] People often have theories on how they came to have so many, which may involve experiences from past lives.[3]

Some kitsune are myōbu - messengers of Inari Ōkami.[5] They may feel that they are still servants of Inari even in their current human body.[5][6] Others are nogitsune, which are not aligned with Inari and not necessarily benevolent.[7] One member of the kitsune-kin livejournal, writing in 2009, observed that at the time, nogitsune were more prevalent than myōbu.[5]

Kitsune may describe themselves as tricksters. Some, particularly nogitsune, may admit to being cynical, vindictive or outright manipulative.[8][9] Many describe the ability to shapeshift into human or anthropomorphic form, and to hide their true number of tails. Some assert other supernatural powers such as hypnosis or the ability to produce ghostly lights.[8]

Some people identify as kitsune on the basis of spirit posession,[9][10] a phenomenon attested to in myth and still experienced by people in modern Japan.[11]

Kitsune may additionally experience the typical animal instincts and urges of a normal fox.[4] Some feel they "straddle the line" between otherkin and therianthropes.[12][13]

Community[edit | edit source]

Kitsune have maintained a number of conspecific communities, including the kitsune-kin Livejournal community,[2] the Kitsuhana forum,[14] and a number of discord servers and IRC channels. They have also been prevalent in communities for yokai and Asian mythological creatures more generally.[15]

At one point, kitsune had a large enough presence in their own right to be known outside of otherkin spaces. Author Watts Martin mentions the "kitsune subculture" in his piece Kitsune and Coyote, making specific mention of community member Foxtrot's website.[16] On a portion of his website dedicated to collecting sources on Asian fox spirits, Issendai complains about the number of emails he has recieved from "reborn foxes".[17]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. various. (June 12th, 2010) "Unusual Types of Otherkin"
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Kitsune-kin"
  3. 3.0 3.1 Fox. (March 9th, 2006) "The importance of tails."
  4. 4.0 4.1 namikitsune. (July 31st, 2014) "What being Otherkin means to me"
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 eshtarkolan. (April 15th, 2009) "Myobu?"
  6. Indra. (June 22nd, 2014) "roxypls asked: hi there! i was just wondering if you could tell me more about being a kitsune"
  7. Duo of The Lostboys. (May 14th, 2003) "On Being a Kitsune"
  8. 8.0 8.1 Duo of the Lostboys. (October 2003) "On Being a Kitsune: Part Two"
  9. 9.0 9.1 sultry_kitsune. (April 16th, 2005) "Hello. *Formal bow.*"
  10. jewelfox. (January 20th, 2012) "The one spectrum_x asked me to write"
  11. Karen Ann Smyers. (December 1st, 1998) "The Fox and the Jewel: Shared and Private Meanings in Contemporary Japanese Inari Worship" pg. 90. University of Hawaii Press.
  12. phaethon. (May 2nd, 2008) "Because I also identify as a kitsune ..." Comment on "Therian vs Otherkin?".
  13. Lupa. (March 1st, 2007) "A Field Guide to Otherkin" Megalithica Press.
  14. "Welcome to Kitsuhana"
  15. "The Asian Otherkin LJ Community 東のアジアキン"
  16. Watts Martin. (ca. 2000) "Kitsune and Coyote"
  17. Issendai. "Kitsune, Kumiho, Huli Jing, Fox"