October 12, 2012 by smithartonline
The Kitsune/Fox motif recurs regularly in my recent work. I was fortunate to attend an exhibition at the Pacific Asia Museum where I saw Yoshitoshi’s print “Cry of the Fox,” (picture courtesy of The Kitsune Page). Shape shifting themes in folklore seem to be found all over the world and is something I find interesting enough to include in the body of my work.
The fox in Japanese tradition is a trickster, while the Kitsune is a bit different, albeit the Kitsune also is a fox. The Kitsune is the messenger between the mortal world and the Shinto pantheon: deception is not part of their stock and trade. Foxes, as a group, are known for their deceptions, though rarely are these intended to harm. They are, however, secretive in their lives. Akira Kurosawa has produced a movie, Dreams, which has an elegant sequence about the foxes of Japan, though I must admit the ending is far from a benevolent deception.