Japan cat cafe
Japan cat cafe

The Most Common Cats In Japan Became As Popular Business Icon

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Nekomata and other terrifying cats were often featured in performing arts like Kabuki which cemented a fear of supernatural creatures among the public in this way cats acquired both good and bad associations in people’s minds are cats native to japan well Japan had wild cats thousands of years ago.

There is still some today but the domestic cats we know now are a totally different variety. They descend from African wild cats in western Asia when people first started farming the land they began keeping these cats the farmers had to store grain which led to a proliferation of mice and rats cats were helpful because they hunted the vermin this was about 10 000 years ago.

Cats arrive in japan in the 6th century

Cats were said to have arrived in Japan in the 6th century they came via china at roughly the same time as Buddhism. However, it seems Japan had some cats even earlier than that.

The remains of a domestic cat were discovered at an archaeological site in southwest japan those bones were dated to the 1st-century bc were they something of an exotic creature in the early days around the year 1000 emperor Ichijou ruled japan.

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He came into possession of a cat imported from china the emperor treated that cat as a precious treasure. He entrusted its care to the noble women at court and gave it a social standing as high as any aristocrat which was pretty astonishing an unheard-of privilege.

The story shows exactly how exotic and cherished cats were as with most things in Japanese history they belonged almost exclusively to the aristocracy for a long time and then eventually when we come to the Edo period in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. Finally, the man in the street gets access to them as well and this seems to have happened with cats too.

Indeed. It was prompted by an increase in the population of cats which meant that cat ownership was no longer confined to the aristocracy. The general public started keeping them too which was responsible for the increase in the numbers of cats the Edo period was a time of peace and security society prospered and food was abundant that drew rodents and other vermin.

Their presence can make food inedible so keeping a cat came to be seen as a hygienic thing for a family to do the cats caught the rodents which led to Maneki nickel. The idea that cats attract good luck they were incredibly popular and that brings us to the subject of Calico cats. Their fur is orange black and white people loved that beautiful balance of colors.

Calico cats

calico cat
calico cats were touched by a visitor on Nekojima island

For genetic reasons Calico cats are almost all female males and are only born at a rate of one every thirty or fifty thousand so they’re seen as extremely valuable the scarcity of calico cats. It is one reason why they are associated with good luck.

So there was generally this image of cats bringing good fortune but at other times there was the opposite image as well wasn’t there why was that this something that’s found?

Cats are perception bring luck or unlucky

Throughout the world. There are different ways of thinking about the same thing in one region white cats might be seen as lucky but in another region, they might be seen as unlucky. The complete opposite in Europe it seems that’s the case with black cats. It’s with black cats whether they come from the right side or the left side or indeed.

calico cat
calico cat in nekojima island

And so a growing number of people in Japan saw cats as unsettling or even scary creatures when cats with long tails got old their tails were said to split apart they became spirits with forked tails. These creatures would bring about the misfortune that the story arrived from china and people in Japan became afraid of long-tailed cats. Was there any factual basis at all for that no none at all.

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It was just a story but cat owners absolutely hated long tails. There are even stories of kittens having their tails cut off just after birth. However, genetically speaking that’s not where short-tailed cats came from we know that for certain they actually came from natural variations.