Neko chan Japan

Everywhere you look in Japan, in the concrete jungle or in the quilt of rice fields, you will see a familiar sight. One paw up and three paws down, wide open human like eyes and an antique coin nuzzling on its pot belly. These bobcats come in racing red, gaudy gold, alabaster white, jade black, glazed, glittered, metallic, wood, ceramic and plastic. This well- bred ornament is the “Maneki neko”, the beckoning cat and the feline goddess of fortune. The left or right paw is beckoning money to come, “come here, come here, my precious” it purrs. In the north of Tokyo, Imado Shrine and Gotokuji Temple both honor the cat of affluence and herald different legends as to the origin of Menki neko. No business or restaurant will prosper if they do not place one facing the door or entrance.
Whilst this species of Japanese cat is welcomed, the underprivileged street species is mostly loathed. It’s the “nora neko” which means stray cat in English. The city alleys stash an array of outcast kitties. Down every nook and cranny, red, gold, black, white, spotted, tabby, mixed pedigree, indescribable hybrids roam and naturally procreate producing more colors. Trap, neuter and release (TNR) is not popular concept here, some cat guardians and small organized groups take it upon themselves to take responsibility for trying to reduce the feral felines. However, the shops are filled with an array items to get rid of the street cat, from spikes to poison and plenty of signs that say NO Cats. DO NOT FEED THE CATS! A Thought Through Eternity
Despite the general consensus of dislike towards the mixed street puss and lack of awareness for neutering, the cat is enshrined and exalted in some parts of Japan. Ishinomaki cherishes a cat island named Tashirojima, in the Miyagi district, a place very close to my heart after volunteering up there following the Tohoku Earthquake. Here the “nora neko” thrives and outnumber the maturing inhabitants. Again the liberal locals believe these felines of fortune bring wealth and prosperity to them, whilst the “man’s best friend”, the dog is purposely prohibited on this rock. An old fisherman’s tale proclaims that a fallen rock accidently killed a kitty by the carelessness of a fumbling fisherman, he apologetically buried it and enshrined the unlucky fellow, creating the cat temple that can be found in the heart of the Tashirojima. dragon blood warrior
A more fortunate and insanely infamous Japanese cat is Hello Kitty. This cute kitten is everywhere in Japan, she monopolizes bags, pencils, fans, cookies, bread, pants and even dog outfits! Originally she was nothing but a spontaneous scribble, a doodle by Yuko Shimuzu. Recently, it was reported that Hello Kitty is not in fact a cat! Shocked? I was. She is in fact a

Neko chan Japan

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