A poetic journey through my mind

Posts tagged “japanese

Kitsune, Usagi and Tanuki: Fox Dreams references.

It occurred to me that a few of the references in Fox Dreams might be a bit obscure, and the stories work better with the right images. 😉

Kitsune (keet-snay) is the fox and fox spirit, Usagi the rabbit, and Tanuki is a Japanese raccoon dog and spirit.

Kitsune are mischievous shapeshifters who become more powerful the longer they live, as represented by the number of tails they have. Although inherently tricksy and sly, for the right person they can make loyal and loving friends, lovers, and wives. The Fox Wife is a traditional tale that usually has the fox-woman proving to be a loving and exceptional wife, until she is revealed…sometimes by her tails showing under her gown, or her true face reflected in a pond…and must leave.

Inari is the patron kami of rice, fertility and foxes. She likes to take the form of a fox, and as such, is said to be the only nine-tailed Kitsune in existence, as she won’t tolerate anyone having more power than she.

Tanuki are shape-changers, and one tale tells how they love to masquerade as a fat little cooking pot on the hearth until someone fills it with food, at which point it changes back and runs away with the meal! They are generally portrayed as happy, lusty, and slightly stupid, able to be led into foolish situations with little effort.

Hope that helps! At the least, I hope you leave knowing a little more about the fascinating myths and legends and animals of Japan! 🙂


Fox Dreams

mischievous fox that I love
come to me this night
whisper your dreams into me
let me run with you

Kitsune in the mist, your eyes
twinkle in time with my heart

 

Inari my hearts first love
beautiful goddess
white tail wrapped around pointed nose
concealing your smile

under the cherry blossoms
I wonder what you think of?

 

usagi I, the timid
caught in kitsune stare
in the blossoms, heart beating
shall I run or stay?

dewdrop falls on kitsune nose
upon the sneeze I am gone

 

mischievous spirit of fox
tell me what you see
only the leaf dappled woods
or a place to play?

dance in the woods, little fox
my heart will remember you

 

tanuki in the fireplace
run and hide, spirit!
belly fat with stolen stew
can not outrun me

kitsune I, the fox spirit
and I will have thy dinner!