The Den of Momiji

In the year 1687 GE, the kannushi1
A kannushi is a priest at an Ur-soulism shrine.
Arai Kokurei saw a brown fox in the morning fog around the path to the Nishi-Kaga-Mori, which is the small forest shrine that precedes the newer Nishi-Kaga-Honden (main shrine building) of the Tsushigami Forest.
The Fox in Yamato Culture
Species | Dec 26, 2018

The Yamato people can be quite superstitious, and seeing a fox can have very different implications for them, depending on the color of its coat. (737 Words)

Arai reportedly got lost after trying to return home from this den, but the fox appeared again and helped him find the road. His story became popular among the kannushi and miko2
A miko is a priestess or, more commonly, "shrine maiden" at an Ur-soulism shrine.
of the shrine and later travelers from the surrounding villages.   They named the fox Momiji 紅葉, and soon people would leave offerings for the fox and its family at the Nishi-Kaga-Mori, from where the shrine maidens would carry it on to the mouth of the den.   Since then, the Momiji family is in its eight generation, and the current elder fox, Momiji no Hachimori 紅葉の八守, is 2 years old, has two brothers and one sister as well as three pups.   The foxes are accustomed to humans and generally well-fed and cared for. It is considered a good omen when they attend the yearly Daichi Gogyôsai 大地五行祭 (The Ur-soul Festival of the Land and Soil), which takes place in autumn when the leaves begin to fall. There, they enjoy great attention and many treats brought by the inhabitants of the shrine and villagers from around the Western Yamato Valley.

Momiji no Mimori (Momiji the 3
momiji the third.jpg
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— This den belongs to Amy Winters-Voss for her support of Aqualon, thank you so much!


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