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CULTURE

Japanese Mythology. Sunshowers and the Foxes Wedding.

2013.08.12 [CULTURE,DISCOVERY,WHAT'S NEW]

Japanese Mythology. Sunshowers and the Foxes Wedding. 

Sunshowers are mystical and magical. The sun is shining bright, yet there is rain falling. In Japan,
foxes too are seen as both mystical and magical, and according to Japanese folklore, a sunshower
signifies that the foxes are holding a wedding.

 

 

Called Kitsune no Yome Iri (Fox taking in a wife), the event is considered a good omen, but any
uninvited witnesses shall suffer the wrath of the fox. Such a story was depicted in the 1990
film Dreams by noted director Kurosawa Akira, when a young boy sees the secret wedding taking
place. For his troubles, the fox invites the child to cut himself open…

 

 

Foxes are considered to have supernatural abilities and magical powers, they can change shape,
taking on human form, usually that of a beautiful woman in order to trick men. Foxes can
possess people, manifest themselves in people’s dreams, they have the power of invisibility
and of creating illusions.

  

Depictions of foxes often feature hoshi no tama, balls of glowing white light that represent the
spirit of the fox, or its magical powers, which they carry in their mouths, or on their tails.

 

 

 

Although foxes were feared by the Japanese of old, they were also revered. White foxes were
believed to be the messengers of the gods of rice, Inari. Statues of these lucky foxes can still
be seen around Inari Shrines throughout the country.

 

 

The fear of foxes has become as rare as the elegant animals themselves in Japan, yet those
rare moments when the sun shines bright while the rain falls are still believed as magical as
the powers of the fox, and that somewhere nearby, a fox is taking in a wife.

 


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