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Kitsune have something called a Hoshi no tama, star ball or kitsune ball. They are white and/or gold orbs. The orb is like a kitsune's life force so they hide it, usually in their mouths or on their tails. If someone manages to get a hold of the orb, they have control over the kitsune.

What is the extent of that control? Could one keep a kitsune until they die and the kitsune reclaim the ball?

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  • It's called a Hoshibana. I used to know more about this but i would have to go dig through notes – EvilJinious1 Apr 17 '19 at 19:11
  • @EvilJinious1 I looked that up and got a kite festival. I added kitsune and got... other things – Andrew Johnson Apr 18 '19 at 21:37
  • sorry, I was in a hurry and misspelled. It is a Hoshi no tama (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitsune#Hoshi_no_tama) – EvilJinious1 Apr 19 '19 at 1:25
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If the fox has a "ball" in it's mouth it is actually the female incarnation of a fox. The male fox incarnation has a parchment or key in his mouth. The "ball" is actually the pill of immortality. The parchment/key is the contract a mortal agrees to with the foxes. Since foxes are shapeshifters, they can appear as female or male. This duality is congruent with the principles of Yin/Yang. You don't control foxes unless you are a Taoist/Shinto fox master. You have an agreement with them. This agreement allows the mortal the opportunity to develop their soul in this life.

The Center For Traditional Taoist Studies published a 3 volume set on Fox lore called: The Tao of Celestial Foxes-The Way to Immortality. It has an extensive bibliography to say the least

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