Twelve Days of Kitsune
- The First Day of Kitsune – a folk tale
- The Second Day of Kitsune — Shift Your Shape with a Kitsune Costume
- The Third Day of Kitsune – Wordless Wednesday kitsune images
- The Fourth Day of Kitsune – the Brief History and Use of Chopsticks
- The Fifth Day of Kitsune — Dining with the Daimyou
- The Sixth Day of Kitsune — On Kimono & Japanese Clothing
- The Seventh Day of Kitsune – Where Are They Now? Part 1
- The Eighth Day of Kitsune – Where Are They Now? Part 2
- The Ninth Day of Kitsune — A Period Playlist
- The Tenth Day of Kitsune — Using Furoshiki to Wrap Gifts
- The Eleventh Day of Kitsune – the Kitsune Code of Conduct
- The Twelfth Day of Kitsune – Mizuhiki
Kitsune are clever shapeshifters who can appear as a human. Today, we’re going to change our own appearances toward a kitsune costume.
As some of you may have read, I am also a costumer, and I thought it might be fun to consider how I would approach a kitsune character. But I wanted it to be something fairly simple, that anyone could do even without a lot of skill or training.
The entire dressing and makeup process here took less than 10 minutes, once materials were assembled, so don’t be afraid to try this!
Traditionally, kitsune in human form are nearly indistinguishable from humans. They may have a telltale sign (a tail they forgot to hide, or downy hair beneath their clothes), but typically they look human enough to fool the average person. So you don’t need to look like a fox (unless you want to), you just need to look a bit… different.
I started with makeup, lining eyes in brown for more definition. To give my eyes a more foxy almond shape, I lined upper lids all the way from the inside corner to the outside lashes.
For a nod toward a more period feel, I used red eyeshadow, which was traditional. Here it’s very subtle, for modern preferences.
(Please forgive the cheesy, under-lit photography; I was working on my own with a cell phone. Not exactly the best conditions for capturing stellar photos!)
Kitsune-gao (“fox-faced”) describes a narrow face with high cheekbones and is considered attractive. A bit of bronzer can add definition to jaw and cheekbones.
A kitsune posing in an aristocratic household might have worn many layers, but I wore just three — a juban of white bamboo cotton, a violet kimono, and then a painted kimono. The obi and obi-age were borrowed from another costume. If you don’t have a kimono to hand, or would like to learn more about them, stay turned; another Day of Kitsune will feature that topic!
The wig is a limited-edition Persephone from Arda Wigs, chosen for its autumn and vulpine colors. The bangs were braided to the side and accessorized with leaves in a terribly non-traditional manner, but kitsune are known for their playful quirks.
In modern pop art and in J-culture/anime conventions, anthropomorphic foxes are very popular. These foxes have mostly human form with additional fox features, usually ears and a tail. While the foxes in Kitsune-Tsuki and Kitsune-Mochi are, like traditional kitsune, not anthropomorphic half-foxes — that is, they don’t display human and vulpine characteristics at the same time — that style is very popular in modern pop art, so feel free to add features such as ears or whiskers if it suits you!