The works of Sakubei Yamamoto
Omens, Superstitions, Taboos

Coal Pits and Foxes (Fox Catching Expert)
June 1965

Yama to Kitsune (Kitsnetori no Meijin)
[Coal Pits and Foxes (Fox Catching Expert)]
38.1 x 54.0 cm Painting in Watercolors and Ink

In the autumn of 1900, a fox catching expert appeared in K Coal Pit. The mining company did not bother to employ this man. He was one of the migrant workers and was such a strange person that he went to the mountains after withdrawing from the pit. He caught or killed foxes with a trap (which adults called a device that pinched animals' legs). He was very famous for the huge number of his catches. However, foxes did not disappear around the pit. His hunting naturally ceased when the forests near the pit were cut down and the dens of foxes and raccoon dogs disappeared as electrification progressed in the end of the Meiji era (1868-1912).
However, no one knew how his trap worked, and neither did I. It was said that he used to deceive the fox when he found it struggling alive in his trap in the mountains, saying, "Oh, it's a pity that you were caught in my raccoon dog trap."

Translation Assisted by Mr. Nathan Johndro

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