Okami written one way in Japan means 'wolf', but written another way means 'great god'. If you look up Okami, Honshu wolf, and Hokkaido wolf you find references to wolves as being venerated in the Shinto beliefs and by the Ainu.
One reason they were venerated was for keeping the wild boar and deer populations down, which was great for farming societies. They were revered in a respectable and down-to-earth manner. While they did protect crops, they also ate horses, and possibly people who were out too late at night.
Japanese folklore referred to the Honshu wolves as Okami, Yama-inu (mountain dog), and Okuri-inu (escorting dog). If a person walking alone after dark felt they were being watched, they were considered as protected. If you tripped though, it was said Okami would attack you. They started dying from rabies in the 1700s, and were hunted by people trying to bring in cattle in the 1800s. Nowadays, in some parts of Japan, it is said some survived and studies are often done as to whether or not they are still out there.
The wolf as god is worshiped under the name of Ooguchi no Magami, or "Large-Mouthed Pure God". The people who followed the Shinto beliefs had rites in small farming villages to honor it. It is still worshiped at some shrines, like at the Mitsumine mountains. The shrine guardians there are wolves, not foxes. The Ainu felt that a white wolf came and mated with a human woman to create their people, similar to some of the British Columbia and Alaska native peoples who believe that the ancestors of men had been wolves.
The Ooguchi Magami Matsuri, or Wolf Deity Festival, takes place at the Musashi Mitake Jinja every January.
There is also a Japanese myth of how a wolf deity, a white wolf, appeared to Yamato Takeru, son of Emperor Keikko. Takaru and his group got lost near Mitakesan when a demon shape-shifted into a white deer and obstructed the road. The white wolf showed him the way and led his group to the correct path to where they were going.
You can find all of this information and more in library books, or on internet websites if you run searches.