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Please note: This article is about the fox spirits of Chikushudo. For other uses of the term, please see Kitsune (disambiguation).


Kitsune were good-natured trickster spirits. Some few choose to leave their spiritual selves behind and integrate into mortal society. Kitsune understood lessons and were willing to put up with anything if it was explained to them in the context of learning a skill, and liked teaching lessons as much as learning them. [1]


A Kitsune

They originated from Chikushudo, and had a strong attraction to Kitsune Mori, their sacred forest. Like Inu and Bakeneko, Kitsune were stealthy and good hunters. [2] In their human form a kitsune could not hide their tails, and it was possible to catch a glimpse of the fox's tail peeking out from under a kimono or hakama. [3] They seemed somehow more beautiful than ordinary humans, with a slight flicker of amusement in their eyes. Their natural form was a fox of unusual color with nine long tails. Kitsune lived in tightly-knit family units, with a dominant male and female leading the pack. [4]


The Kitsune enjoyed playing harmless tricks on hapless humans. They were clever liars and could spin stories that were believed by most of those who heard them. When appearing in human form as beatiful maidens, they delighted in goading foolish men into ridiculous acts of bravery. [5]


It was believed a mundane fox could become a Kitsune spirit if it lived beyond its normal span, and at 100 years old a fox would grow a second tail, becoming a fox spirit. [3]

Enemies of the Rakshasa[]

The Tribes which predated the Fall of the Kami spoke of a battle that occurred between the kitsune and the Rakshasa, Tiger-spirits, a race of man-beast that was unknown in Rokugan. The kitsune tricked the Rakshasa into leaving Rokugan forever, never to return. [6]

Favored by Inari[]

A Kitsune

A tale told two kitsune sought refuge in a temple to Inari, but the monks would not let them inside. One of the monks gave them shelter in his own hut, and fed them with rice. The Kitsune swore they would protect the temples of Inari, and they never would eat rice again, in remembrance of the monk whose food they took when they were in need. Since that day [7] Inari was the patron of the foxes [8] and sometimes he was represented as a white fox. [9]

Known Kitsune[]


A Foxwife

A Kitsune who took human form and married into the Rokugani culture became known as a Foxwife. [5] Their connection to their spouse would be increased due to their spirit nature, even preventing them from leaving or betraying their spouse. [17] Foxwives who had met with bad ends became kitsune-tsuki, the ghost of a kitsune that died in anguish far, far from its native forest. [18]

See Also[]

External Links[]


  1. Way of the Minor Clans, p. 30
  2. Creatures of Rokugan, Third Edition p. 8
  3. 3.0 3.1 Book of Fire, p. 124
  4. Creatures of Rokugan, pp. 37-38
  5. 5.0 5.1 Roleplaying in the Emerald Empire, p. 193
  6. Way of the Minor Clans, p. 31
  7. Way of the Minor Clans, p. 34
  8. 8.0 8.1 Roleplaying in the Emerald Empire, p. 137
  9. Way of the Minor Clans, p. 5
  10. Way of the Shugenja, p. 81
  11. Way of the Crane pp. 82,84
  12. Scenes from the Empire 19, by Robert Denton, Yoon Ha Lee, with Special Guest Author Robert Hobart
  13. Nightmares, by Ree Soesbee
  14. Masters of Magic, pp. 67-68
  15. Promises, by Rich Wulf
  16. Yogo Fujitani
  17. Enemies of the Empire, p. 245
  18. Fortunes & Winds, p. 85

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