There are three types (perhaps more) of kitsune in Japanese myths and folklores.
In old days people would believe that kitsune (fox) and tanuki (Japanese raccoon) had a supernatural power and they would trick and confuse people. They can turn into anything. Especially, they are good at taking human form. When they do it they wear a leaf on the head.
Foxes in Inari Shrines are messengers from one of Shinto gods, Ukanomitama. They are usually white and sometimes hold a key, ear of rice or scroll in their mouth.
They can transform into anything but don’t trick people.
3. Kyubi no Kitsune (Nine tailed fox)
In Japanese folklore, foxes are mystical animals, and the oldest, wisest, and most powerful fox has nine tails.
The nine tailed fox is an evil monster (some people believe it’s one of the gods). It has been trying to destroy the world by tempting and manipulating emperors. It can turn into a beauty and had turned into Dakki in ancient China, Mrs. Kayo in ancient India and Tamamo no Mae in Japan. They say it was slain by Kazusa-no-suke Hirotsune in the early 12th century.
The Nine Tailed Fox in Japan
The nine tailed fox reached to Japan in 12th century and took the guise of an elegant court lady. She called herself Tamamo no Mae, served and tried to control retired Emperor Toba (1103–1156).
When the retired Emperor took ill Ommyoji (a kind of shaman) Yasuchika noticed it was her doing and revealed its true nature by magic. Then it flew away to Nasu.
After the intense battles Kazusa no Suke Hirotsune finally cut the fox off with a single stroke. Then it turned into a stone.
It belched poisonous air and all birds and animals died that came near it. People called it Sesshoseki (killing stone) and kept away from it.
Even now it still belches poisonous air in Nasu (a district in Kanto area) and the area surrounding it is off limits.