Kitsune Information

Kitsune.jpeg (213373 bytes)


All Kitsune wishing to join the clan must
read and follow the guidlines set down
in this page.All magic must be in accordance
to the thirteen elements listed herein.Any deviation
from the guidelines will deny entry into clan
membership,and until applying characters
comply to these guidelines.The guidelines
are loosely based on the information posted
mostly because I'm too lazy to type out everything
I know,and I don't have that much time between
work and my wife.LOL.Anyways,all kitsune must
abide to these rules:


The kitsune race is one filled with myth and contradictions. While I don't claim to be an expert on it, I have been studying the race itself, and its place in Japanese, Chinese, and Indian mythology. This thesis is an aid to those who wish to know about the kitsune, or who wish to play one in some RPG's. The thesis is far from complete, and I will be adding information as I learn of it, and am at least reasonably sure of its veracity.

To explain some things: This information, for the most part, has been gathered by debate and interview with sources from various chat areas, discussions on the net, and through books that I have been able to come across. The biggest source if information, so far, is from the following:
Kitsune: Japan's Fox of Mystery, Romance, and Humour
-by Kiyoshi Nozaki

This book is *filled* with legends of the kitsune. It
doesn't present any hard evidence, but it shows many of the
innate abilities of the kitsune, shows kitsune pranks in
action, and does mention the kitsune's ties to the 13
elements. Note that this book was written after three years
of extensive research. It is by no means complete.

FoxKnight (Ben Ludwig) A friend on alt.horror.werewolves

Probably the person I have spoken to the most on
kitsune, FoxKnight and I have discussed, debated, and
bandered around information on the kitsune, it's place in
the Orient's culture, and the abilities, the theological and
cultural significance, and the spiritual placement of the
kitsune. These discussions have always been enlightening,
and he will be giving more information that I will most
likely find very useful for placing in this section.

Anthony Kitsune from FurryMUCK

Anthony has done an amazing effort in collecting
information on not only the kitsune, but on the fox's role
in cultures in the West as well. Unfortunately for me, I am
biased to attempt to keep my data limited to the kitsune,
and the East, but I do suggest that others contact him if
they wish another point of view on the kitsune, and the fox.

Kij Johnson Author of the short story 'Fox Magic'
This was a wonderful short story, showing how things
could have looked from a kitsune's point of view. She has,
from what I heard, written an actual novel now that follows
in the footsteps of this short story, but I've yet to read

I will admit that some information listed here is hypothesis only. I have tried to keep to the facts that have been gathered or found, but for ease of understanding, speculation must be used for those who are curious about details. Most speculation has been discussed, debated, reformed, and changed as I have learned more of the oriental way of life, and their beliefs and culture.

Without that, this document would be next to useless.

After much consideration I have also decided, to a limited extent, to add 'game mechanics' out of this document, except where it may be essential, and stick to the lore and to information that is good for RP format.

Where an -> is listed, I'm using 'game mechanics'. This is where I've added information that isn't really listed anywhere, but is extrapolated and considered after much reading and consideration. There's no real, solid evidence on this specific information, because simply there couldn't be any.

NOTE: In most legends, the number of tails that a kitsune has is not mentioned. This usually does not mean much, as most kitsune, in mortal forms, do not show off their tails. (Simply because of possession, illusion, whatever) The usual exception is for nine-tails, which are given special attention to. If you see a legend about kitsune, tails do not come into play often.

Also note: In legends, the word 'fox' and 'kitsune' are interchangable. For the most part here, when the word 'fox' is used, it is referring to the fox-spirit, unless obviously shown otherwise.

What is the kitsune?

To start with, I'll take an excerpt from 'Kitsune', the book listed above.
  'Kitsune is an animal supposed to be mysterious, fascinating, and mischevious. And he is believed to be very grateful for the kindness done to him, as seen in many tales, and is also affectionate as revealed in some dramas. He is enshrined as a god because of his supernatural power. He is endowed with the subtle art of metamorphosis, and he is able to bewitch men in the guise of a charming girl. An exceedingly interesting and entertaining beast Kitsune is.' (preface, page vii)

The Author also mentions that the kitsune, and it's idea, was introduced from China and Korea, and went through an amazing metamorphosis once ntroduced to the Japanese culture.

The word Kitsune comes from two syllables: kitsu, and ne.

Kitsue is the sound made when a fox yelps, in Japan, and ne is a word signifying an affectionate feeling. In the ancient times, the word kitsu meant 'fox', as well.

According to data I have collected, the kitsune that is most often considered is the fox-spirit, also known as the Hu-Ching in China. For the most part, I will be stepping back from the 'mortal fox with powers' aspect of the kitsune, as that is often what the kitsune is considered at first glance, and dig a little deeper at the roots of the entity discussed here.


The kitsune are ageless, being spirits, but are not immortal. Kitsune manifest, and can live a lifespan of 900 years, before they are likely to leave/die, and return to the spirit world.

Kitsune older than 900 years old are rare, as the amount of essence to fuel their existance on the physical plane would be extreme, and they would be doing more harm than good.


The 13 Races of Kitsune

Chinese mystecism, and I believe Japanese mysticism as well, have 13 low elements. The spirits of the orient were aligned to these elements. The Tengu, as I've read so far, are aligned with Heaven, Mountain, and Wind (and possibly more). The Tanuki are aligned with Forest, though I could easily believe there's more to them than just this.

The kitsune are an aspect of the elements, meaning that they have ties and abilities from each of these. This, incidentally, places them in the same catagory as Dragons, but on a much, much smaller scale. (For more on Dragons, see 'enemies'.

The elements are broken down into 13 catagories, and the kitsune are divided into each type. (I call them Clans, but that's just me. Though perhaps Dynasties or Houses might be more appro