Furry Feline Friends

The obsession for cats has always griped the Japanese culture in many ways. It has become a thing associated with Japanese Culture for centuries. Inscrutable as it is, Japan has a long history with its furry feline friends dating back to the Edo era.

The harbinger of luck

The harbinger of luck

In Japanese folklore, cats have protective powers and symbolize good fortune. The coin leash on the neck of the cat is a lucky charm to help bolster good fortune. Today, business owners put “Maneki Neko” (まねき猫) aka the beckoning cat, statues in front of their shops, in hope that the moving paw will bring in customers, quite a strange metaphors I do say so myself. That’s not the only reason that cats get so popular here – being especially cute does count.

Maneki Neko

Maneki Neko

Cats are so adored in Japan to some extent that the unquestioning popularity has helped kick up the trend of cat cafes in Japan. Unlike most cafes, the “guests” have to pay a cover fee.

What’s even more exasperating to fellow dog lovers in Japan is the fact that little islets that worship cats exist. It’s no hearsay fairytale that many fans have dreamt. Off the coast of Miyagi Prefecture, Tashirojima (田代島) has a thriving cat population, that far out-populates humans. Due to this, it’s in the limelight on most broadcasting medias in Japan. Cats are the perfect epitome of Japanese culture, so next time when you do see a nearby cat, don’t forget to cuddle it with love and care.


About CY Lik

Will be pursuing university life soon in Tsukuba.

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