The Gumiho (literally “nine tailed fox“) is a creature that appears in the oral tales and legends of Korea According to those tales, a fox that lives a thousand years turns into a gumiho, like its Japanese and Chinese counterparts (the kitsune and the huli jing).It can freely transform, among other things, into a beautiful girl often set out to seduce men. There are numerous tales in which the kumiho appears.

The legends tell that while the gumiho is capable of changing its appearance, there is still something persistently fox-like about it; its countenance changes, but its nature does not. In Transformation of the gumiho (구미호의 변신), a gumiho transforms into an identical likeness of a bride at a wedding. Not even the bride’s mother can tell the difference. The gumiho is only discovered when her clothes are removed. Bakh Mun-su and the Gumiho (박문수와 구미호) records an encounter that Pak Munsu has with a girl, living alone in the woods, that has a fox-like appearance. In The Maiden who Discovered a Gumiho through a Chinese Poem (한시로 구미호를 알아낸 처녀) the Gumiho was ultimately revealed when a haunting dog caught the scent of the fox and attacked.

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