The world of Japanese cat culture is vast. Enter, and you’ll discover Shinto and Buddhist beliefs about animals and nature, folklore about cats both real and supernatural, cats depicted in Japanese works of art and literature, cat-inspired culture and everyday objects, cat animation, the global export of cuteness, cat tourism and nekonomics—the local term for the economic boon that results from a popular cat attraction. Japan’s cat culture contains multitudes, and it transcends physical geography. You might be allergic to cats. You might not be a cat person. (Yet.) But once you’ve been beckoned inside, the chances are good that you’ll decide to stay a while. Welcome to Catland.
Author, Sarah Archer, is an award-winning design and culture writer. She lives with her husband and two acrobatically-inclined orange rescue cats in South Philadelphia.