November 7, 2023
BANGKOK – Phra Phayom Kalayano made the remarks after a viral video clip of a new mythical statue of a “nine-tailed fox” was erected in front of the Night Bazaar Hotel in Bangkok’s Huai Khwang district.
It is the same place where the statue of Khru Kai Kaeo, resembling a winged gargoyle with fangs and crimson talons, was erected in August this year.
Several netizens questioned the propriety of allowing people to worship the statue for “good luck”. Some of them were unhappy about the new statue’s “fox spirit”.
The abbot asked devotees to be careful about what they worshipped, lamenting that anything was being made into a statue for worship nowadays.
In the past, some people worshipped “Bai Sema”, or boundary stone, instead of a Buddha statue as it represented his kindness and intelligence, he said.
Instead of worshipping mythical statues, he said devotees should worship spiritual beings like the Buddha or Jesus, as role models of goodness.
“A fox is not a prophet. Why does it have to be worshipped? It’s too much,” he said.
According to mythology and folklore in China, Japan and South Korea, the nine-tailed fox is described as an evil fox spirit that tricks other people with the ability to disguise itself as a beautiful woman. The most well-known story about this spirit is “Tamamo-no-Mae” in Japan.
However, Japanese people worship fox statues as servants of Inari Okami, a god of prosperity, tea, agriculture, industry, and smithing in the Shinto religion.