The works of Sakubei Yamamoto
Omens, Superstitions, Taboos

Coal Pits (Yama) and Foxes (Hunter)
June 1965

Yama to Kitsune (Ryoshi)
[Coal Pits (Yama) and Foxes (Hunter)]
38.0 x 53.8 cm Painting in Watercolors and Ink

It was very strange to hear that this brown-haired animal also called a wild fox annoyed us humans, the lords of creation, by deceiving and possessing some people. In the Kaho and Iizuka districts, there were some big fox bosses, such as Tosuke from Tojo or Tobikawa, Sanzo from Ikawa, Osan from Rembun (sic: normally Bembun), and Kichisuke from Karasuo-toge Pass. Even fields near houses in the Kaho and Tagawa districts abounded in ordinary foxes.
The fox reportedly passes strong gas when it is hunted down and cornered by hounds. This gas is called zundohe or saigobe. It is said that the fox can easily run away into the mountains while even fierce hounds are collapsing, being paralyzed by one blow of this gas. Additionally, every fox has a habit of looking back every time it advances one step while it is running away after it escapes from a dangerous area. There is an interesting saying which was reportedly told by a person who was possessed by a fox. According to his speech, the fox said that a one-eyed man with bent elbows was the most horrible thing in the world. The fox supposedly said that an atari pon i.e. hunter aiming a gun at him was the most horrible sight.

Translation Assisted by Mr. Nathan Johndro

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