Reiko: A Personal Experience
My brother and I never considered ourselves 'kitsune' in the average sense of the word. In the end the word 'kitsune' simply means 'fox', or rather the archetypal word associated with any sort of vulpine (or vulpoid) entity found in the myths and writings of Japan. To be precise, we are more than just kitsune. In Japan there are many different ranks and classifications of kitsune, everything from your average russet vermin-hunter to your not-so-average supernatural spook. However most people don't realise this, and immediately what comes to mind when someone says 'kitsune' is an image of a colorful multitailed fox, sometimes in a sort of anthropomorphic form or appearance. Indeed sometimes to cut corners we will simply use the word 'kitsune' to mean the more otherworldly multitailed entity, but we are finding that the original word is simply too broad a term to use. Not all kitsune are otherworldly, and even those that are do not all have multiple tails, or stand on two legs. We can provide for you some useful references from literature to help give you an idea of the wide variety of terminology and ranking among kitsune, but in the end the best course of action would be to present to you with our perspective, and in doing so hopefully you'll be able to draw you're own conclusions.
So, cutting to the chase, what is a reiko? Translated, the word means 'supernatural fox', and it is the term we use to identify ourselves as beings that are sentient in nature and possessing the capabilities of shapeshifting and transformation. The Chinese have narrowed it down to even simpler terms, with huli meaning 'fox', and hulijing meaning 'exquisite fox' or huxian for 'immortal fox'. We have, among other things, certain facial and bodily characteristics which differ from 'common' foxes. It would take some time to explain in detail here but if I may provide a comparison, think of the physiological differences between humans and elves and you might get the idea. In addition we are also larger than common foxes, reaching a rough length of five feet from tip of snout to base of tail. This measurement is based on physical body height in comparison to other external features and comparisons with such while astral-projecting. We can also manifest multiple tails, though commonly we choose to consolidate them into a single large tail, and we also possess coat colorations which would probably not occur naturally in the wild, though there can be some parallels. For example, although there are black foxes in the wild, Duo's coloration is almost solid-black with the exception of metallic-silver tips to the ears and tail(s), and some silver ticking in the fur. This silver is not, however, a natural silver but more of a 'pure' silver, making the hairs themselves seem to resemble very fine silver needles. My fur is white with gold highlights, giving the fur a platinum blonde or gold effect. Finally, our ears are rather pronounced like that of a caracal, giving us somewhat of an Anubian countenance. And finally, one major characteristic that sets us apart is our ability to assume (not to be confused with 'mimic', though mimicry is something we can tamper in) a human or rather, humanoid form. We say 'humanoid' because the form cannot be considered human due to certain default characteristics beyond our control in the initial shift. These include subtle facial features that do not entirely fit the bill of a more Asian appearance, as well as pointed ears. Being twins, although fraternal, we possess very similar characteristics, being identical in height and having similar facial structure, this from the prospective of the astral or ethereal plane. Duo's hair is thicker and ranges from reddish-brown to black, while my hair is thinner and more gold-blonde. I'm also slightly more built--more solid, while my brother is more slender, his eyes violet to contrast with my amber-yellow. I guess you could say that our humanoid appearance is more elven or fae.
I should state in closing, though this might not seem to have anything to do with the above at first glance, it is important to remember that one can only depend on myths up to a certain point. As years go on and stories are told and re-told, tales tend to get corrupted as in a game of telephone. Also, the story may differ depending on who is telling it, peasants versus noblefolk, for example. Myths are, for the most part, written by human observers of supernatural entities and events. Having said that, there is a significant reason why some of our memories and overall ways of operation do not always match what the myths tell us. When you decide to depend solely on myth as the defining factor of who you are, you cut yourself off from the true potential that is out there. Our experience thus far is an example of just that, keeping in mind that each way of interpreting a story is unique to both the storyteller and the reciever. Our experience is just another example, which is why we continue to research as much as possible, sorting the wheat from the chaff as it where, and piecing things together from a combination of both memory and fable while keeping the essence of what is reiko intact.