The Ninth Day of Kitsune — A Period Playlist

This entry is part 9 of 12 in the series Twelve Days of Kitsune

As we come to the Ninth Day of Kitsune, let’s treat one of the senses which has been left so far untouched despite our forays into images, taste, and touch; let’s listen to music, both period and related, from Heian era to today. Continue reading

Our Annual Christmas Movie, and Don’t Argue With Me.

English: Screenshot of Jimmy Stewart and Donna...

Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed in It’s a Wonderful Life (1946). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Nearly every year of my life, my immediate family has gathered on Christmas Eve, invited friends and pseudo-adopted family, eaten ourselves silly on shrimp and brownies and cheese balls and red and green M&Ms, and watched It’s a Wonderful Life.

“That old hack of a film? Really?” you ask.

If you asked it silently to yourself, read on, and I’ll explain. If you asked aloud, there’s the door over there. We don’t argue about It’s a Wonderful Life. Continue reading

The Eighth Day of Kitsune – Where Are They Now? Part 2

This entry is part 8 of 12 in the series Twelve Days of Kitsune
Anime Central 2012

flyer for Anime Central 2012

In recent years, kitsune and other folklore creatures have been making a striking comeback, it seems. Yes, they were always there, but now they’re everywhere, from fashion (French clothing line Maison Kitsune) to music (several music groups go by the name Kitsune).

Here’s a very brief collage of modern media in which you might spy a kitsune — and one of my favorite kitsune scenes in which there is no kitsune at all. Continue reading

The Seventh Day of Kitsune – Where Are They Now? Part 1

This entry is part 7 of 12 in the series Twelve Days of Kitsune

So for thousands of years, creatures of folklore and mythology have stalked the Japanese countryside, keeping wayward children in at night. But what about in the era of electric lights and digital cameras? What happened to the youkai, the bakemono, the monomo and ayakeshi — where are they now?

They’re glad you asked. Continue reading

The Sixth Day of Kitsune — On Kimono & Japanese Clothing

This entry is part 6 of 12 in the series Twelve Days of Kitsune

Today we feature a guest post by my friend Emilia Blaser, a collector of kimono. Because there’s a lot of misinformation and false assumptions regarding kimono, Emilia is graciously allowing me to repost her convenient guide to kimono for beginners. Continue reading

The Fifth Day of Kitsune — Dining with the Daimyou

This entry is part 5 of 12 in the series Twelve Days of Kitsune
nishiki food market, kyoto, pickled vegetables...

nishiki food market, kyoto, pickled vegetables (nukamiso) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today we’re going to have a meal with the oyakata-sama and okugata-sama, the lord and lady of the household. Have you been practicing with your chopsticks? I hope you’re hungry! Continue reading

The Fourth Day of Kitsune – the Brief History and Use of Chopsticks

This entry is part 4 of 12 in the series Twelve Days of Kitsune
A painting of a Japanese woman using chopstick...

A painting of a Japanese woman using chopsticks, by Utagawa Kuniyoshi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today we will learn an important aspect of polite society — chopsticks! Or, as they are known in Japanese, hashi. Continue reading

The Third Day of Kitsune – Wordless Wednesday kitsune images

This entry is part 3 of 12 in the series Twelve Days of Kitsune

I don’t usually do a Wordless Wednesday post — for one thing, I’m pretty bad at “wordless” — but here are some fantastic pictures I collected for research and inspiration while working on Kitsune-Tsuki and Kitsune-Mochi.

If you like these, be sure to check out the Kitsune-Tsuki/Kitsune-Mochi Pinterest board! Continue reading

The Second Day of Kitsune — Shift Your Shape with a Kitsune Costume

This entry is part 2 of 12 in the series Twelve Days of Kitsune
me, in my kitchen, just before starting the transformation

me, in my kitchen, just before starting the transformation

Kitsune are clever shapeshifters who can appear as a human. Today, we’re going to change our own appearances toward a kitsune costume. Continue reading

The First Day of Kitsune – a folk tale

This entry is part 1 of 12 in the series Twelve Days of Kitsune

For the First Day of Kitsune, I’d like to share one of the oldest and most common folk stories about a kitsune. It’s a tale of a fox wife, similar to Western stories of fairy brides, and it features many of the key points in the kitsune legend.

Fox women (kitsune in human form). 1 print : c...

Fox women (kitsune in human form). Woodcut by Bertha Boynton Lum, 1908. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s also a story the village girl Murame hears in Kitsune-Mochi, which prompts her to do some deep thinking…. Continue reading