In the early days of Rokugan after the First War, Kami Akodo was tasked with safeguarding the realm from monsters and other threats. He took to this duty zealously, but in his pursuit of its completion he made a terrible mistake: one of the "monsters" he encountered was a race of intelligent spirits that resembled lions, the Kitsu. Akodo nearly exterminated the entire race, stopping only at the last battle when he looked into their eyes and saw a glint of nobility and intelligence. To atone for his error he offered his daughters to the last five kitsu remaining, and so was born the Kitsu family.
The Kitsu function as the clan's spiritual advisors, both in the realms of kami worship and in ancestor worship. Due to their heritage, they are uniquely capable of visiting the Spirit Realms, and thus maintain a much closer connection to the ancestors than any other clan could hope to achieve.