Pair of Kitsune Foxes

“Kitsune” in Japanese means Fox, and they are thought to be supernatural beings, with an “all-seeing” eye. They love to play tricks on human beings, sometimes taking the form of women in the woodblock prints of Hokusai. But the “white-haired fox” is said to live to be 1000 years old, and “Inari-sama” is also believed to be the messenger of the Shinto “God of rice”. Both of our foxes shown here are holding the “sacred jewel”, associated with both Buddhist and Shinto deities. The “sacred jewel”, one of the “Takaramono” (treasures) in Japanese mythology is also a symbol of purity. All foxes are said to have infinite vision, the all-hearing ear, the secret of the souls of others, full knowledge of the universal past and of the present, plus the ability to change their shape (in order to fool human beings, in this case usually men).

Our Kitsune are porcelain and hollow, from around the middle of the 20th century.