Re: The Asian sphere
I checked the info on kitsune in wikipedia (fox people) and it's accurate, according to the books. It basically regurgitated the same info from "The Fox and the Jewel". But that's just the Japanese perspective, Chinese stories were slightly different (and I only read one story from Mongolia that had a fox, and nothing from Korea yet). But in general they were trickster spirits, like the coyote. They could be heroes or villains, helpful or harmful, playful or malicious, and for many, neutral. They followed their own code, only working with human ones temporarily, and usually for some personal motive. They actually ARE foxes, vulpes vulpes, etc; the difference is that the Asians had a different world view than the Europeans. While to Europeans they are just "soulless animals" and had no more meaning than being fur pelts, the Asians placed higher intelligence and meaning to these creatures (and others), which is why their intelligence is much higher in their stories (which is why they're able to transcend the physical realm to enlightenment like a human might, because they're able to get the knowledge and ability to do so). It's basically on par with a human's general intelligence, and in some cases, higher.
And kirin (qilin, etc) aren't really unicorns in the sense that they were like the European ones. Their purposes were different, and made of very different animals (one kind looks more like a lion/ox thing than a horse!). The only thing "unicorn" about them were the single horn (antler in some pictures/stories) on their head. Otherwise they're not the same creature (though modern art on DA of course suggests otherwise).