The Fascinating Story Behind the Japanese Expression “Kitsune no Yomeiri”


In Japan, there’s a charming expression used to describe the phenomenon of rain falling while the sun is shining: “kitsune no yomeiri,” or “the fox’s wedding.” This phrase is beloved throughout the country, with regional variations such as “kitsune no konrei” (the fox’s marriage) and “tengu no yometori” (the tengu’s bride-taking). But why is this weather event associated with foxes, and what’s the story behind it? Let’s dive into the fascinating world of Japanese folklore to find out.


Understanding “Kitsune no Yomeiri”

“Kitsune no yomeiri” is a Japanese idiom used to describe the occurrence of rain during a sunny day. This expression is deeply rooted in Japanese culture, connecting a natural phenomenon with ancient folklore in a unique way.

The Legend Behind the Expression

There are several theories about the origin of “kitsune no yomeiri,” but the most well-known is the legend that foxes hold their weddings on sunny days. In Japanese mythology, foxes are considered sacred creatures and often appear in many tales and legends. They are often portrayed as beings that bring happiness and good fortune to the human world, and their weddings are believed to be auspicious occasions. According to the legend, when a fox wedding takes place, the heavens bestow their blessings in the form of rain on a sunny day.

Why Foxes?

Foxes have become the central characters in this phenomenon due to their mystical nature. In Japanese folklore, foxes are known as shapeshifters, capable of transforming into human form. This attribute has captured people’s imaginations, making foxes creatures of wonder and mystery. Additionally, the legend that foxes only hold their weddings on sunny days is said to be based on their behavior in the wild. Foxes are nocturnal animals and rarely active during the day, so the idea of them appearing during a special moment like a sunshower has further enhanced their mystique.

Modern-Day Significance

Today, “kitsune no yomeiri” is more than just a weather-related expression; it carries a deeper meaning. When a sudden rain falls on a wedding day or a special event held on a sunny day, it is often interpreted as a sign of good luck and happiness. Moreover, this expression is frequently used to showcase the richness of Japanese culture, both within the country and to the rest of the world.

In this article, we’ve explored the meaning and origin of “kitsune no yomeiri” and the reasons why foxes are associated with this phenomenon. This age-old expression is a prime example of how natural phenomena and cultural beliefs can intertwine, creating a unique piece of Japanese folklore that will continue to be cherished by many for generations to come.