Japanese tale #63 – The contest

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Once upon a time, there was in old Kyoto a wide sanctuary which was the pride of the locals. Dedicated to the thunder gods, the shrines stood at the North-East of town, shielding the capital from disasters and demons.

For those old days, many strange creatures still haunted Japan. And in the forest surrounding that holy sanctuary, a fox and a tanuki lived – but not in peace nor harmony.

The beasts were not friendly neighbors and did not get along well. Both sly and mischievous, they were also consummate shapeshifters.

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