Wondering about the specifics of 狐のお面

I was typing 狐 on my phone and one of the autofill options was 狐のお面. With a little searching and use of a 辞書. I figured out, hopefully successfully that this means Fox Mask. I am a fan of foxes and searching this on google brought up images of fox masks. This pretty much reinforced my idea of the meaning. The part that made me wonder and curious about a significance is because of the お used. I would guess that this is an honorific used on the 面. This made me wonder if there was some specific mask tied to this phrase.

My question is how correct am I on my understanding? Also to Japanese does 狐のお面 conjure a very specific idea? Like a specific type of fox mask? Or is there a cultural significance to a fox mask?


It’s a specific style of mask, if that makes sense? I’m not expert, but Japan has a long history of masks used in religious/spiritual contexts as well as theater, like Noh. (I actually did my study abroad trip in Japan studying traditional theater!) So there are a lot of specific words for specific masks.

Fox masks in particular seem to be a part of both traditional and pop culture, kind of like demon (oni) masks. Foxes have a strong cultural context in Japan coming from Shinto/folktales/etc, and I do see them in modern media/real life pretty often.

The articles below do a way better job of explaining it than I do! Short answer: yes, it’s referencing a specific type of mask and yes it has a lot of cultural significance! If you pop the phrase into a Google image search you’ll see plenty of examples.

A few links that may be interesting to you:
Detailed article about fox masks
History of fox masks
Fox masks in Noh theater
General types of Japanese masks


That does make sense and helps. The links explained quite a bit as well. Thank You!

I guess I kind of wanted to ask here also instead of doing too much searching because I feel like some times things get lost in translation. Just wanted to make sure that my literal translation was pretty much the jist of it. Which it seems that is so. :fox_face:

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