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(First question I've ever asked here, don't be too harsh on me, please!)

Suppose you have a kitsune (Ahri from League of Legends is a perfect example of what I have in mind), who loves to roam near human cities – more specifically, the story is set in Russia.

She has visible, non-human features: her ears and tail – everything else is anatomically the same. How would she conceal them, in order to approach humans without raising suspicion?

Her aim is mostly to observe, rather than to socialise, and is quite agile. That is, she can easily jump between roofs, climb walls, and quickly escape, if she's caught.

You might object that she doesn't have to conceal herself, if she's so good at running away: I'd say that if she's caught multiple times, people would get wary/curious about her, and she'd lose her prized anonymity, which is necessary to observe people closely.

So, clothing is a necessity for her ends. The tail can be easily tucked under a thick coat. And an Ushanka could hide her ears. But, how/where could she obtain these items?

She's not driven by instinct, and is perfectly conscious, able to speak fluent Russian, in other words behave like anyone else. Eventually, she desires to try and live in the city.

What jobs could she do? – it may be useful to point out that she's considered quite attractive. Before you suggest modelling, I'd like to point out that she isn't afraid to be naked, but she's loathed by the idea that people would lust after her.

How could she go about her daily life? – she can't bare her head in a public place, and is reluctant to do so even in a private area, with few people. Say, how could she get her hair styled? (She's proud of hear appearance, but not to a narcissistic degree). Would she just wait until the hairdresser's has served the last customer, and is about to close, so that she's alone, and she'd show her ears to less people?

Would she be able to live like that? – would she be able to live like this? She'll find a human companion that takes her in, eventually, which makes her life easier; but still, until then: how long do you think she'd be able to go on?

Thanks in advance.

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  • $\begingroup$ I don't play League of Legends and have no idea what a Kitsune is, but many of the pictures I found with google images depict an anthromorphic woman with blueish skin and yellow eyes. Is the skin- and eye color of your character also unusual? $\endgroup$ – Philipp Feb 27 '15 at 23:59
  • $\begingroup$ I think it's a kind of shapeshifting fox-woman. A werefox? $\endgroup$ – Leprechaun Feb 28 '15 at 0:32
  • $\begingroup$ I found a lot of different Kitsune, and I've never seen League of Legends. Jetlef, welcome to the site! This is a very good society question: can you please link a picture or article for us to know what exactly you're imagining, for those of us who don't know L of L? $\endgroup$ – Mikey May 16 '15 at 18:52
  • $\begingroup$ Kitsune (in this context): Human with 1-9 fox tails, slightly pointed nose, and fox ears. $\endgroup$ – HadesHerald May 16 '15 at 20:55
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    $\begingroup$ "She's not driven by instinct, and is perfectly conscious, able to speak fluent Russian, in other words behave like anyone else."—I'd say many people are driven by instinct, are not perfectly conscious, and have a terrible time speaking Russian! $\endgroup$ – Mirror318 Jun 7 '16 at 23:00
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How could she go about her daily life?

She could claim that her tail and ears aren't real, but just an unusual form of surgical body modification. I think that most people would find that explanation a lot more plausible than her being a mythological creature. Anyone she can convince of that might think of her as a bit strange, but would then interact with her normally.

What jobs could she do?

She might not be able to get a white-collar job where body modifications are frowned upon. But I think she could easily get a job somehow related to geek culture. A saleswoman in a manga store who looks like a catgirl might attract quite a lot of customers. But that would likely force her into a lot of social interaction and looking at your description I get the impression that she might not enjoy that. Alternatively she could also perform any job where she wears a uniform with a hat which conceals her ears.

Would she be able to live like that?

When she is not born to human parents, then I think her main problem would be that she has no documented identity. She has no birth certificate, ID or tax number. Officially she does not exist. That means it is impossible to get a legal job, open a bank account, rent an apartment or do lots of other things which are required to live a normal life in human society (at least that's the case in most western societies - I don't know how much this applies to Russia).

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  • $\begingroup$ It's worth noting that many countries have a process for immigration/residency for "stateless persons," i.e., someone who has no known citizenship in any country, so getting a job may not be permanently out of the question. $\endgroup$ – Unsigned Jun 20 '16 at 21:56
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It helps that she's in Russia. Even moreso, if she's in, say, Yakutsk. But, let's keep it in a big city; she could consider the following.

Wintertime - Going about business in winter, in Russia, wearing lots of layers and covered head, face & neck was not an odd sight (well, this was ten years ago). She could consider seasonal activity, and mostly outdoors work, like construction or running a shop, like a Baltik at a busy intersection.

The Internet & Acceptance - Building a network of well-meaning people (however small) is critical for anyone, not to mention someone with peculiar attributes. The Internet brings a wide variety of people together, and I see no reason why a little research won't help find the right ones. Often, this becomes a geographical reality; we have a neighborhood of cat clowns (don't ask me: it's Portland, Oregon), who go about their day, working at the post office, taking out the trash, etc., dressed as cat clowns. So an accepting home and group of friends will have to be sought out.

The Internet v2 - You can get almost anything online now, for the summer months. Groceries, hardware, etc. are available for delivery in larger cities; even, presumably in Russia's major cities.

Own it - Be known by ignorant people as a freak of nature and by intelligent people as someone special. Go on TV shows for a little spending cash.

Crime - Your character sounds adept, so if you want to go that way with your story, it should be easy.

Happy writing!

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    $\begingroup$ +1 to this. My first thought was that a bank robbery would set her up very nicely. It would give her money and frankly, once she's got that, everything else she'll need can be obtained via the internet and a cheap PAYG phone. $\endgroup$ – Richard Apr 14 '16 at 14:11
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There should be a YATMND for this

  • What jobs could she do? Anything that would allow her to work through the internet. She could work in IT through home office, for example. And if you think she cannot bare her head because ears, she could be a youtuber who uses that as part of her "being in character". There are youtubers who always wear masks and are successful, so she could just say the ears are fake.

  • How could she go about her daily life? Would she be able to live like that? There is a condition called hikikomori which causes people to stay in reclusion for months, sometimes years at a time. In an age where you can order food and goods, work, pay your bills and pay online, this is becoming practical to the point where it might even cease being a condition.

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Kitsune come from the Japanese legends. One origin I've heard is that if a fox survives to be 100 years old, it gains a second tail and the ability to turn into a human. And yes, no fox-ears, though the shadow of the tails and sometimes the tails themselves become visible if they lose concentration.

They are typically mischief-makers rather than evil.

For your version of Kitsune, she might initially steal these items of clothing, and pay victim back once she has money. Pretty much any job is open to her. I like the suggestion of her working at a manga/comic book store which her ears and tail(s) would be seen as an elaborate costume.

A few random Kitsune things:

Tom Smith has a great song, "Kitsune and the Master of Zen." It is a great example of the shaping game along with more innuendo that I could ever put into a song.

When I use them in games (I used to GM a lot, and they can make great player characters) not even the player knows if they are women who can turn into a fox, or a fox that can turn into a woman.

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There are major religions which call upon women to cover their heads and bodies. If she were willing to submit to their requirements, she could easily hide these non-human features.

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  • $\begingroup$ Yup. A burqa would work fine. $\endgroup$ – Loren Pechtel Feb 28 '15 at 18:34
  • $\begingroup$ Until she wanted a haircut... $\endgroup$ – Mikey May 16 '15 at 18:49
  • $\begingroup$ @mikey she could get a sympathetic friend to cut her hair. $\endgroup$ – Bellerophon Feb 6 '16 at 22:02
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Jobs

Kitsune have often been represented in Japanese folklore as noblewomen and courtesans, although you don't have to follow that trend. The first thing I thought of was that she might be a model for an artist or sculptor, as opposed to a fashion model. Or she could be a gymnast if she's agile - that might do wonders for showing character competency too.

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Kitsune are masters of illusions so one possible solution would be to create an illusion to hide her ears and tails from humans. She would still have them, they would just be hidden.

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to WorldBuilding Diamond! Answering old questions is no problem, it's even encouraged! (There are a few badges you can only earn by reviving old posts with good new answers for example.) The problem I see is that you state that this is a comment and comments belong in the comment section and should be used for example to ask for clarification. You can comment once you reach 50 reputation. And the question didn't state that she has magic, so this version of the Kitsune is just human apart from some visual features. $\endgroup$ – Sec SE - clear Monica's name Apr 20 '18 at 18:40
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    $\begingroup$ Part of the idea behind this site is to draw inspiration from reality and existing myths, but try to answer from the in-universe perspective the OP shows in his question. We are a bit different from other forums. To learn more about the site please take the tour (gives a badge, too) and visit the help center. Have fun! $\endgroup$ – Sec SE - clear Monica's name Apr 20 '18 at 18:40

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