Much like “humdinger” and “roughneck,” “foxy” is one of those words that’s far past its golden age. But really, why shouldn’t it be used to describe an attractively fashionable woman, especially is she’s sporting a pair of these cute knee-high socks decorated with Shinto-style kitsune fox spirits and other culturally quirky touches?
While Japan has plenty of love for dogs and cats, the two most common animals to show up in Japanese folklore are the raccoon-like tanuki and kitsune, or foxes. Kitsune in particular are featured in numerous legends, and the animals are said to be messengers of Inari, the Shinto god of rice and commerce.
At the entrance of any Inari shrines, such as the beautiful Fushimi Inari Taisha in Kyoto, you’ll come across a pair of kistune statues, often with one holding a key to a rice granary in its mouth and the other a sacred scroll. While they’re important religious symbols, they’re also kind of cute, which is where these knee-high socks from fashion label curiosite come in.
Available in white or black, slipping these socks on puts a softly smiling kitsune on your right leg, and a Shinto torii gate on your left.
Twirl around to the back, and there’re two more foxes, with key and scroll, keeping watch over your calves.
The kitsune goodness is just getting started, though. Fox spirits are said to have nine tails, and you’ll find a couple of them sticking out from around the ankles.
Finally, should you take off your shoes, as is the custom when visiting homes and many traditional building in Japan, you’ll see that the soles of your feet have been magically transformed into fox paws!
The Okitsune-sama Knee High Socks (as they’re officially known) are priced at 3,240 yen (US$26) a pair, and can be ordered online here from novelty goods retailer Village Vanguard.