11.12.2009

Kitsune Drawing



Done for Printmaking, this isn't cleaned up quite as it's just an image for transferring. It's been suggested I finish this as a digital painting, refining the tails and background.

For printmaking, this will be turned into a reduction woodcut.

Kitsune is the Japanese word for fox. According to legend, foxes will often turn into women to take a human lover.

When I was looking up information on kitsune on Wikipedia, I came across a story describing one such scenario, and I found the supposed origin of the word to be quite pretty.

Ono, an inhabitant of Mino (says an ancient Japanese legend of A.D. 545), spent the seasons longing for his ideal of female beauty. He met her one evening on a vast moor and married her. Simultaneously with the birth of their son, Ono's dog was delivered of a pup which as it grew up became more and more hostile to the lady of the moors. She begged her husband to kill it, but he refused. At last one day the dog attacked her so furiously that she lost courage, resumed vulpine shape, leaped over a fence and fled.

"You may be a fox," Ono called after her, "but you are the mother of my son and I love you. Come back when you please; you will always be welcome."

So every evening she stole back and slept in his arms.

Because the fox returns to her husband each night as a woman but leaves each morning as a fox, she is called Kitsune. In classical Japanese, kitsu-ne means come and sleep, and ki-tsune means always comes.


Photo reference from: SpectralFairyStock

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