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Midnight Fox Parade

FoxParade2

Middle school boys in foxface and golden skirt-pants carrying gigantic fox heads through the streets of Tokyo? Can you think of a better way to ring in the new year?

Every December 31st at midnight, the good citizens of Oji gather at the local inari shrine to show the furry-tailed messengers of the gods a good time. Like all Shinto festivals, this one features copious amounts of sake (in this case, they’re ladling out the hot, sweet, so-unfiltered-you-nearly-have-to-chew-it brew called amazake), flutes & drums, and people dressed in period costume and sneakers. But that’s just for starters!

Participants and spectators alike wear fox masks, but the thing I love about this festival is that under the fox masks people are wearing...fox makeup!
Participants and spectators alike wear fox masks, but the thing I love about this festival is that under the fox masks people are all wearing…fox makeup!
Foxmobile!
Foxmobile!
No shrine parade would be complete without flute-playing vixen.
No shrine parade would be complete without flute-playing vixen.
The venerable fox figure itself gets a ride through town...
The venerable fox figure itself gets a ride through town…
...as do children of all ages, even the littlest nipper, who got carried in style.
…as do children of all ages, even the littlest nipper, who got carried in style.
The many faces of Japan's most elusive trickster are on display, including Mr. Giant Scary Fox there, in the white hakama.
The many faces of Japan’s most elusive trickster are in attendance, including Mr. Giant Scary Fox there, in the white hakama.
Fox goods were all around, but the ones I was really coveting was this pair of puppets.
Fox goods were all around, but the ones I was most coveting were these puppets.

And by the way, don’t miss all the amusing stuff that you’ll only see in

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Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Japan, produces the monthly newsletter Japanagram, and blogs at Only In Japan and The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had

Jonelle Patrick View All

Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!

4 thoughts on “Midnight Fox Parade Leave a comment

      • haha!! let’s do that and you send me a photo, I’ll do the same. It won’t match the lovely bat shaped glasses that I bought in Tokyo though …. I left Japan on the 31st this year and arrived in Paris too tired to do anything so I missed halloween snif!!!

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