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Yōkai (妖怪) are creatures in Japanese folklore ranging from the evil oni to the mischievous kitsune. Some possess part animal and part human features, often anthropomorphic in form. Many furries draw inspiration from these tales to create their own fursonas or in their artwork, especially those of the kitsune. The term is a rather a broad term, and can be used to encompass virtually any monsters and supernatural beings in Japanese folklore.

In Japan, many animals are thought to have magic of their own. The magic can range from shapeshifting to magical energy. Most of the magic relates to the physical or spiritual characteristics of the animal in question. The most common magic-using animal are henge (変化), or shapeshifters, which often imitate humans, mostly women. Some of the better known animal yōkai include the following: