Guardian fox before the Hoshimine Inari Shrine Keller, Matthew P.
Image taken at: Hoshimine Shrine. Kitsune 狐, foxes, are today often identified as the messengers of the god Inari -- or sometimes as the kami itself. Yixing's 一行 (683-727) commentary (T. 1796) on the Mahāvairocana sūtra identifies ḍākinīs as wild beasts (野干 yakan) or jackals, and in Japan they became associated with foxes. It is often suggested that the association between both Inari and Dakiniten and foxes is what brought the two deities to be identified with each other.
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