Foxes become spirits, ghosts, or demons in Japanese folklore, in traditional prints, and Noh and Kabuki dramas. A modern story collection reworking many Japanese ghost tales is by Aoko Matsuda, titled Where the Wild Ladies Are (published in Japanese in 2016, translation into English 2020). I love reading these stories!
"Just then, Shinzaburō’s eyes fell on three steaming cups of green tea placed on the coffee table. Did I go and make tea without realizing it? he thought. Surely these two didn’t sneak into the kitchen and make it themselves? What’s more, he noticed that the yōkan [red bean-paste jelly] he’d been saving for a special occasion was there too, cut into neat slices." (pp. 40-41).
About a water spirit called Hina-chan:
"Rather than buying my lunch from the convenience store, which inevitably means getting by on soggy pasta or rice balls shaped into triangles by machines rather than hands, I’ve started taking my own lunch boxes in as often as I can. It feels to me as if the badly formed omelettes and grilled salmon fillets and florets of steamed broccoli I make at home to bring to the office all contain Hina-chan’s love. By eating my homemade food at work, I can be together with Hina-chan during the day too." (p. 69).
"At this moment, Hina-chan is lying on the sofa, her head resting on my knees and her eyes glued to the TV, munching away mindlessly at a bowl of avocado-flavored tortilla chips. I stroke her fine, silken hair, and think how deeply I adore her." (p. 82).
Thoughts of an irrationally jealous and violent woman, maybe possessed:
"You take up a large daikon and whirl it around you like a baseball bat. When you bring it crashing down on the table, the daikon— which must have been softer than you thought— breaks into pieces, like a slow-motion video. Doubtless you will use some of these in tonight’s dinner— they’re the perfect size for simmering. As you squeeze out every last drop of ink from a raw squid, you even have time to think that you’ll combine the two, make ika-daikon.
"Next, your eyes land on the cardboard box of apples that your parents sent over from their garden. You take them out and wrench them apart with your bare hands. Later you can make them into jam, or bake them in a pie, or mix them into macaroni salad— apples are surprisingly varied in their uses. You focus on channeling all your power into your fingers as they tear through the glossy skins." (pp. 90-91).
A man employed by a very mysterious company that makes an incense with a power that somehow he can't grasp:
"At lunch the other day, he’d asked the women there about it, but they’d giggled and avoided answering the question. Shoveling down his katsu curry, Shigeru then asked the other question that had been on his mind. 'Don’t you think this company’s a bit weird sometimes?' ...
"'Well, companies are weird, aren’t they,' one of the ladies said after a pause, as she gobbled up the broad strip of deep-fried tofu sitting on top of her kitsune udon. Her slanted eyes and narrow face had a vulpine quality to them, Shigeru noted. And come to think of it, weren’t the kitsune— the fox spirits capable of transforming themselves into humans— supposed to love deep-fried tofu above all other foods? Wasn’t that, in fact, where the dish had got its name? But he brushed off these thoughts as quickly as they had come to him." (pp. 116-117).
Related story: "A Day Off" (p. 203)