On Halloween night, October 31st, 2021, residents of Kagoshima City were treated to a “fox wedding” procession.
There are many legends about “fox weddings,” known in Japanese as 狐の嫁入り kitsune no yomeiri. It either refers to atmospheric ghost lights similar to will-o’-wisps which appear as if paper lanterns are floating through the dark, or to other strange wedding processions as described in ghost stories. According to Japanese folklore, foxes have the ability to change their appearance and sometimes appear as humans. Therefore, it’s perfect for Halloween night.
The mask artist Genkūdō 幻空堂 (@genkudou) has been organizing a kitsune no yomeiri procession and inviting people to participate for the past five years.
The austere procession of the fox-masked and kimono-clad women through downtown Kagoshima was so authentic that observers surely felt as if the members had been transported in time to the present. The unusual sight attracted many people.
You can see from the photos that people on the street stopped to look at them. There were also rave reviews from Twitter users, such as:
Even if there were real foxes disguised as humans in the parade, no one would have noticed. Everyone was fascinated by this mysterious procession that appeared on Halloween night.