The foxes in Japanese folklore were linked with the deity Inari the spirit of rice. The foxes are considered messengers of Inari and are given tofu to please them. In these shrines there are many different statues of foxes who bear different symbolic items in the mouth such as a jewel or key. These statues could be a a plot device where the mischievous foxes could steal them. As a secondary item for collection, the character could collect stolen tofu hidden around the map to take back to the shrine to feed the other foxes.
Chatting to Alan today was enjoyable and brought much more of an insight on how to move forward with this idea. The game being based around would be based around mischievous foxes who would cause mischief throughout the game. We discussed that this would mean that it would feature many mischievous foxes throughout the game and spoke about the different types that could be implemented such as sniggering fox, leaping fox, laughing fox. In terms of art style we discussed that I need to look at the history of Japanese art, a style that relishes in its simplicity, and make sure that I'm avoiding a 'western' copy. I need to think about using simplistic ideas first to then start refining it and creating a style. So things such as woodblock prints will be a great place to start, I just need to make use of this simplistic art style and create the characteristics that Alan and I spoke about such as the sniggering and leaping foxes.
Now off to design some mischievous foxes and research Japanese art styles to derive some inspiration from.