Japan and its history through the cigarette case scenes Kitsune no yomeiri

The Kitsune no Yomeiri (狐の嫁入り, "the fox's wedding"), which is similar to "monkey's wedding" in English, is a strange event told about in Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu.

There are various stories of strange wedding processions that were witnessed, and where there were actually foxes, like in the essay "Konjaku Yodan Shu" [今昔妖談集] of Kan'ei period of one taking place in Takemachi, in the Honjo area of Edo, as well as the written work "Edo Chirihiroi" [江戸塵拾] where one was seen at the Haccho canal in Edo, as well as the kaidan collection "Kaidan Oi no Tsue" [怪談老の杖] of the Kansei period where one was seen in the village of Kanda, Kozuke (now Gunma Prefecture).

Stories of marriages between foxes that were shown to humans are disseminated country-wide. As an example, according to folk legend, in a legend of Soka, Saitama prefecture, in the Sengoku period, a certain woman promised to marry with her lover, but died to an illness, and foxes were inspired by the regretfulness of this situation, and thus it is said that a fox's wedding procession could be seen near the woman's grave.

Top: "A Fox Wedding Procession on the Road to Oji" print by Utagawa Hiroshige, 1840s. Bottom: a cigarette case by Masayuki (from Chris Penry's collection).