Kitsuné: Japan's fox of mystery, romance & humor

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Hokuseido Press, 1961 - Folklore - 235 pages
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User Review  - ladycato - LibraryThing

I was in search of information on kitsune. To my delight, this book was downloadable through a link on the "kitsune" Wikipedia page. It's a scan of a poorly copied version but it's readable. The book ... Read full review

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This is a text book on Kitsune unfettered by modern pop culture, as it's final revision print was in 1961, and so the author based it solely on available lore and mythology to date.
119 libraries
across the globe have *A* copy. I saw a printed copy on eBay last year for $900, and the prices fluctuate with the market.
For a time, Google had the whole scan available, and now ... it's not. Possibly to preserve the book's worth? Hell if I know.
I was lucky enough to take a few hours and scroll through the off-centered scans made by some intern, at Google, who had NO IDEA what a jewel they had in their hands at the time.
This guide is invaluable to know about Kitsune lore. It is brilliant and bluntly worded. It talks about how modern psychology still uses the term "kitsune-tsuki' on paper as a label of "insanity", even though its closest meaning would be akin to "demonic possession" in the western world. They talk about the etymology of "Kitsune's wedding" and why the term, in Japan, is used when it's raining when the sun is out (as opposed to the Southern United States' terms, like, "The Devil is Beating his Wife.")
Finding this book is difficult at best. Many of the libraries nearest to me that have it (closest is 115 miles) are ALL University libraries! So I can't get my hands on a copy!!
Needless to say, it is as mysterious, elusive and clever as foxes, themselves.
I would tell you to hunt for it, but remember - paper rock scissors ...
...The hunter captures the fox, who bewitches the mayor of the town, who outranks the hunter. If you really want a copy of it, all I can say is... happy hunting.
 

Contents

Washing Hair by Harunobu
8
The Inari Shrine as seen in the 18th Century 1617
16
Portrait of Murasaki Shikibu
22
Copyright

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