Izuna (飯綱) also goes by the name of kuda-kitsune (管狐). It can be said the two are the same, yet have some small more distinctive qualities and legends about them that make them a little different.

The Izuna is a small youkai, with soft fur and a tail like the end of a broom. It’s born with all four limbs tangled together and its hands and ears are just like a humans. Instead of claws, they have five fingers on each hand.

The Izuna is also one of the youkai that causes kitsune-tsuki, which means it is a kind of fox youkai. Those who are possessed by them will spout gibberish. But if you throw the possessed person into a river, it will cause the Izuna to leave the victim.

There are also Izuna-mochi, people who can control the Izuna. They can use it to predict fortunes, but no surprise here, can also use it to possess people they hate and cause them to fall to illness.

For the mochi, its said that kuda-kitsune does not so much possess a person or an object, as it does the family. Which means this youkai belongs to your family which in turn makes you a mochi. And even if you don’t consciously control one or have knowledge of it, you can induce it to make thing happens.

As in most mochi families, the kuda-kitsune will help the family become wealthy, but there’s a flip-side that’s kind of different. The kuda-kitsune procreates. And when the number reaches 75, they will devour everything in the family and it will all fall to nothing.

Interestingly, the name of the Izuna has the character 飯 meaning rice. And one of the symptoms of an Izuna possession is a sudden expansion of appetite that includes eating many bowls of rice.

From kuda-kitsune, the word 管 is an indication of the small size of the youkai, that it’s able to fit into a bamboo shoot 竹筒 or a matchbox.

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s