Kuzunoha (Japanese葛の葉, " arrowroot leaf " ) is the name of a famous fox spirit of the Japanese folk belief. As a good mother fox Kuzunoha in some ways represents the counterpart to the evil Tamamo no Mae, what it seems to fit that it is a descendant of Kuzunohas son Abe no Seimei (921-1005) - the Yin Yang master Abe no Yasuchika - is that the sometimes called " fox witch " designated Tamamo no Mae debunked.


First traces Kuzunohas found in the Nihon Ryōiki (Vol. I, Ore. 2). The story takes place at the time of Kinmei Tennō ( r. 539-571 ). It is there at the same time the oldest manuscript of a Japanese fox ghost story, but is the name of Kuzunoha not mentioned directly. Instead, the narrative contains a ( macro) etymological explanation, as the Japanese word for fox kitsune, emerged:

A man from the land of Mino goes out to look for a wife. In the fields, he meets a beautiful woman, who as it turns out, as well, is in search of a marital union. They get married and soon she becomes pregnant, during the bitch of the Lord at the same time throwing a puppy. This puppy behaves always very aggressive towards them. One day, the young dog is already grown up, he attacked the woman, so she suddenly assumes its shape and fox climbs a nearby fence. Her husband comes and cries. " Come (ki) you as usual ( Tsune ) sleep with me " And as they that followed him in truth is a vixen, called the fox kitsune since then. The begotten of her children are called Kitsune. Later, she leaves her family and returns to the woods.

From this origin legend arose different variants and folk tales, and later plays. The first version of the Nihon Ryōiki of the 9th century was later Konjaku Monogatari shū (11th - 12th century) further embellished. In the earliest versions, the fox came to a man to enter with him the marriage. Later, it is added that this be done to repay by the marriage of a debt of gratitude: her husband, Abe no Yasuna have, saved them from hunters. Their subsequent return to the woods becomes an act of self-immolation.

In a variant of the missing man looking in Shinoda Forest of Izumi Kuzunoha and just as he wants life next to him and his son in despair because he does not want to live without her, she appears one last time to give them a golden box and a crystal bestow. The case should enable students to understand the secrets of heaven and earth, the crystal to the language of birds and animals. Therefore have her fox son, the famous court official and scholar of astronomy, Abe no Seimei, his superior knowledge.

Shrine of the Kuzunoha in Izumi

In Izumi, there is a Kuzunoha Inari Shrine, which was built at the place where Kuzunoha be gone and her farewell poem should have left on tissue paper. From this there are different versions. One is:

In the area there is also the Kagami - pond, which is associated with the legend, and which is characterized by the city as a historic site.