Sunday, September 01, 2013

王子狐 Oji Foxes

On Sunday afternoon I was working on some reading at a coffee shop near Oji Station, a bustling area relatively close to my apartment. When I left, I walked out into the streets to find a parade of foxes. 

Elaborately costumed foxes, kiddos as foxes, regular folks with fox masks, and music to accompany it all. 

Masses of people in yukata with fox masks.

The most elaborate of the foxes.

The kids who played drums and flute to accompany the parade.

I looked up "oji fox" when I got home, and found out that Oji Shrine, which is fairly close to the station, is a famous gathering spot for kitsune (foxes) on New Year's. At that time there is a big parade starting at midnight- something I'm now looking forward to. I knew the image of foxes gathering from the Edo period Hiroshige print of the subject, but hadn't put it together that my neighborhood Oji was the same Oji of Hiroshige's landscapes.  As it looked like impending rain, I didn't follow Sunday's fox parade up to the shrine, but definitely have a shrine visit on my list of things to do.

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