For those who might be interested I’ve collected some of the classifications of kitsune which studious and scholarly people use. Because I’m just a normal person and to not sound confusing I’ll be referring to everything on this web page simply as a Kitsune without further classification. After all, to the Japanese common person a fox was a fox.
Bakemono-Kitsune – a name for a sorcerer or evil fox usually as a Reiko, Kiko or Koryo i.e. some sort of non-physical fox
Genko– black fox, usually seen as a good omen
Kiko – spirit fox, see Reiko
Kitsune – fox, a general term for a fox regardless of the circumstance normally used for ‘good’ and ‘evil’ foxes alike
Koryo – haunting fox, see Reiko
Kuko – air fox, very bad kitsune, considered on the same level as Tengu (Japanese goblins)
Nogitsune – wild fox, used at one time to differ between good and bad foxes. At the time they used ‘kitsune’ to mean a good fox/messenger from Inari and nogitsune as all foxes who did mischief and tricked people. Not really considered evil, more like prankish.
Reiko – ghost fox, perhaps not on the ‘evil’ side but definitely a ‘bad’ fox.
Shakko – red fox, could be considered good or evil, the same as Kitsune really
Tenko – celestial fox, kitsune which have reached the age of 1,000 years, they are usually said to have 9 tails (and sometimes are said to have golden fur) but they are either considered very evil such as Tamamo-no-mae or benevolent and wise such as messengers to Inari
Yako/Yakan – fox, see Kitsune
*Bibliography for this section taken primarily from:
1 – Kitsune: Japans fox of mystery, romance and humor; Kiyoski Nozaki
2 – Goblin fox and badger and other witch animals of Japan; U.A. Casal
3 – The Fox and badger in Japanese folklore; Marinus Willem deVisser