What is a nine-tailed fox called?

Answered by Jason Smith

A nine-tailed fox is called a kumiho or gumiho. It’s a fascinating creature that appears in folktales and legends of Korea. Similar creatures can also be found in the folklore of other East Asian countries like China and Japan. In those cultures, they are known as huli jing and kitsune, respectively.

I first heard about kumihos when I was a child, growing up in Korea. They were often depicted as beautiful and cunning creatures with nine tails, hence the name. These mystical foxes were believed to possess incredible powers and could shape-shift into human form.

One of the most intriguing aspects of kumihos is their ability to seduce and manipulate humans. They were said to be exceptionally skilled at disguising themselves as beautiful women, luring unsuspecting men into their traps. Once entranced, the kumiho would drain the life force or essence from their victims, leaving them weakened or even dead.

Korean folklore also tells tales of kumihos who sought to become fully human by consuming human hearts or livers. They believed that by doing so, they could shed their fox form and become human permanently. These stories often portrayed kumihos as beings torn between their animal nature and their desire for humanity.

In some versions of the legend, kumihos were seen as malevolent creatures, wreaking havoc and causing misfortune wherever they went. However, there were also stories that portrayed them as sympathetic figures, yearning for love and understanding.

Interestingly, the concept of the nine-tailed fox has made its way into modern popular culture as well. It has been featured in various forms of media, such as books, movies, and video games. These portrayals often emphasize the kumiho’s alluring nature and supernatural abilities.

To summarize, a nine-tailed fox is called a kumiho or gumiho in Korean folklore. It is a mythical creature known for its cunning nature, shape-shifting abilities, and seductive charm. Whether seen as malevolent or sympathetic, the kumiho continues to captivate imaginations and enchant audiences to this day.