There are many creatures often little known outside Japan that are featured in Japanese folklore.  I aim to draw them with my own interpretation of written descriptions, old paintings, sculptures and existing animals.
#1 Kitsune (Fox)

Foxes often trick people by changing their forms to other animals, objects or people.  There are a number of stories where a fox has turned into a young woman and have married a human man.  They are intelligent and charming.

Pencil sketches
#2 Komainu

Often seen outside temples, Komainu represent the beginning ('a' the first letter in Japanese alphabet) and the end ('n' the last letter).  Strangely, the imagery of komainu appears to have come from Indian lions, whereas the name 'komainu' comes from a guardian one-horned dog at the entrance of the underworld.  So I've drawn 'a' (on the right) as a lion, and 'n' (on the left) as the dog of the underworld.
Komainu, mixed media
Pencil drawing
#3 Tanuki (Raccoon dog)

Often described competing with Kitsune (fox), Raccoon dogs also have the ability to change their forms to objects or other creatures.  Unlike fox though, raccoon dogs are often clumsy and cannot successfully fool people.

Tanuki, mixed media
Pencil sketches

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