Korean Folktale Gumiho - The whole story
I had previously written a post on Gumiho's but you could call it an amateur version. But with so many of you wanting to know more about this, I have decided to make a more detailed post on it. So here goes :
What exactly is a Gumiho?
A Gumiho (nine tailed fox) is a mythical creature that has made its appearance in many south east Asian folktales. According to folktale, a fox that has lived for a really long time, i.e is a thousand years, becomes a Gumiho. The Gumiho can take any form it chooses and most of the stories it involves a Gumiho taking a form of a beautiful maiden to seduce a guy and then eat his liver.
Now most of the stories makes a Gumiho sound like an evil spirit who is bent on eating the flesh of a human, but there are tales where a Gumiho has helped out humans and is known to be of a benevolent nature.
this one is pretty self explanatory. It's obvious that it looks like a fox with nine tales. But stories have a Gumiho as a shape shifter and it usually changes its form to a beautiful woman but they are known to ave a fox like appearance about them like long pointy ears or a fox like face. Korean dramas have unique ways of portraying a Gumiho character. Though the actual form of a Gumiho is unknown.
Can a Gumiho become Human?
Now this a theory that K-dramas have used numerously but folktales have no mention of it. Dramas have shown that a Gumiho can become human if they don't eat flesh for a thousand years, or i a person they love can keep a secret of the Gumiho for ten years. In the latest Gumiho Drama, "The Gu Family Book", it has been shown that a Gumiho can become human if they can last without eating/killing for 100 days, not showing its true identity to a human, and they must help any human that is in need of help or he/she will become a demon for a thousand years.
Similarities to other cultures
A Gumiho is a common character in Chinese and Japanese tales as well though in a Chinese tales, it is known as huli jing and in Japanese tales its known as Kitsune. The Chinese and Japanese versions are considered to be benevolent while Korean Gumiho is considered to be more evil.