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|Japanese fairy tales Tales of Kitsune Kami
Prince Jaschima and the Fox
A young prince of a royal family named Jaschima went out and into the
temple of the kami Inari to perform his devotions when a young fox came
running into the chapel and sought to hide itself among his robes.
Although foxes are held in high favor by Inari Prince Jaschima was
still very surprised by the incident. So he did his best to calm the
poor animal and let it know that he wanted to protect it. The fox
seemed to understand him and looked at him gratefully.
It soon became clear what the fox was afraid of for two high-ranking
officials came and asked him if they had seen a fox. He realized that
they must be hunting for a fox to get a part of it which a doctor
needed to cure a sick family member, for the parts of foxes are
important for the production of many medicines. Jaschima was not
willing to betray the fox and replied that he hadn’t seen the
animal. The two hunters figured the fox could not have gone far and so
didn’t believe him. So they taunted and begged him to give them
the fox. Soon their taunts turned into a serious quarrel and Jaschima
had to draw his sword to defend himself. But the just at this moment
his father came in and joined his son in battle. The fight had a very
bloody outcome for the hunters struck Jaschima father down before the
Prince struck them each down in turn and thus met the requirements of
He was sadden by the loss of his beloved father and grieved for him
deeply, the grief gnawing painfully in his chest.
The temple turned into beautiful groves and he saw a beautiful girl
standing before him, cajoling him and comforted him after he told her
of his loss. He soon realized that she was just, good, and wise so he
asked her to be with him. She agreed instantly and went with him to his
house where the wedding was celebrated and the two newly weds lived
together in the highest happiness.
After some time she bore him a son whom they named Seimei, but when
this happened the young woman was sad. Finally she told Jaschima that
she could no longer stay with him for the time which the Kami Inari had
given to her to comfort him for the loss of his father had now expired.
She was the same fox which he had saved in the temple, the fox for
who’s sake he’d lost his father. So Inari had allowed his
servant to marry him and comfort him.
The fox turned back into her animal form and left the prince, both
deeply saddened. The son remained with his father, however, and was
loved and cared for. In later years the son grew wise and maintained
much of the divine nature of his mother.