Nine-Tailed Fox (Gumiho)

Welcome back, fellow humans.

Nine-Tailed Fox

The Nine-Tailed Fox is a Chinese mythological creature, originally a sign of fortune. However, the Korean Gumiho is considered bad by nature and shares similar physical characteristics to the Chinese Huli Jing and Japanese Kitsune.

Japanese Kitsune

According to the Korean legend, an ordinary fox that lived for 1,000 years can transform freely into a celestial fox spirit and grow nine tails compared to the 9,000 years in Japanese mythology. It can transform into a beautiful woman or a handsome man in order to charm the poor souls and then eat their livers or hearts. A Gumiho can be permanently cursed to remain in the human form, if it devours a liver daily for a thousand days or if a human sees the fox transform into a woman/man, it needs to be kept a secret for 10 days. In the human state, it can pass on the special powers to their children.

Chinese Huli jing

The Korean myth called The Fox Sister involves a couple with two sons who wished to have a daughter. The family was blessed with a daughter who was killed by a Gumiho. The Gumiho returned home in the image of the daughter. Since she returned, the cattle began dying because of their livers were cut out. The sons figured out that their sister was the one who has slaughtered the cattle and reported it to the father but the family disowned the sons, certain that they were lying. The sons later returned to save their parents, only to discover that the fox murdered the family so as to become a human. The brothers were the next target so they deceived the Gumiho and drowned her in the nearby river. 

In Japanese mythology, Tamamo no mae means, The Beautiful Fox Witch is a tale about the nine-tailed fox concealed as a woman. The emperor fell in love with the beautiful woman, but the more he was captivated with her, the sicker he got. Kitsunegao means fox-faced, the Japanese refers to women with the fox-faced attribute as bewitching, who has a petite, oval facial structure and raised cheekbones.


Thank you for reading, fellow humans.

24 thoughts on “Nine-Tailed Fox (Gumiho)

  1. I love mythology, thank you for sharing these stories! I happen to love foxes too, so two in one!
    PS: Sorry about the previous unrelated comment, my computer is being very weird…


  2. It is so interesting! I don’t know much about Korean mythology, it totally makes me want to learn more about it. I always wonder why people think foxes have similar properties.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s