The fox spirit, Kitsune, is a mythical creature of Japanese folklore. Kitsune differs from the fox statues found at Shinto shrines which are Inari, a type of spirit revered in Shintoism, though over the centuries, the differentiation has become blurred. When a man dressed as a white Kitsune appears at a festival like this one, he is playing the part of a prankster, usually playing jokes on children or pretending to sneak up on unsuspecting spectators. In mythology, tricks played by Kitsune were generally harmless, though they enjoyed humiliating the proud or relieving greedy merchants of their wealth.

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