狐Kitsune, in the literal sense, is the Japanese word for fox. Foxes are a common subject of Japanese folklore; in English, kitsune refers to them in this context. Stories depict legendary foxes as intelligent beings and as possessing paranormal abilities that increase as they get older and wiser. According to Yōkai folklore, all foxes have the ability to shapeshift into human form. While some folktales speak of kitsune employing this ability to trick others – as foxes in folklore often do – other stories portray them as faithful guardians, friends, lovers, and wives.
Foxes and humans lived close together in ancient Japan; this companionship gave rise to legends about the creatures. Kitsune have become closely associated with Inari, a Shinto kami or spirit, and serve as its messengers. This role has reinforced the fox’s supernatural significance. The more tails a kitsune has – they may have as many as nine – the older, wiser, and more powerful it is. Because of their potential power and influence, some people make sacrifices to them as to a deity.
Perhaps it comes from my time in the Navy or maybe it’s the result of having owned a sailboat, but whatever the reason, I have formed the habit of naming my vehicles: my red truck is called “Ruby,” and the white SR20 that I fly regularly is “Weiss.” Thus, it seemed natural to come up with a name for my RV-14 as well.
“Kitsune” is the name I’ve chosen: not only is it the Japanese word for one of my favorite animals, it also begins with “kit” – which is very appropriate for this airplane! Here’s her logo, which you’ll see at the end of each article on this site – and eventually, on the airplane herself: