Catland: The Soft Power of Cat Culture in Japan

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An irresistible and colorful celebration of Japan’s thriving cat culture.

In Japan, cats rule. And the country’s feline love affair is now a worldwide phenomenon. From cat cafés and Hello Kitty to the familiar sight of a maneki neko (“beckoning cat”) waving its paw from a shop window, cat lovers all over the world are more immersed in Japan’s cat culture than they may realize.

With charming storytelling, Catland will introduce you to cats practicing to become monks, a designer who makes cat costumes inspired by the fashions of 18th-century France, and skilled craftsmen who build pieces of fine furniture precisely scaled down to suit feline customers. Packed with photographs, works of art, pop culture and folklore, Catland is the perfect gift for the cat lover in your life.

More than 100 color photographs

From the Publisher

Welcome to Catland

Catland, Japanese cats, cats, cat culture, Kyoto, cat templeCatland, Japanese cats, cats, cat culture, Kyoto, cat temple

Aruji, a cat monk in training

Nyannyan-ji Temple in Kyoto takes the form of a shrine, but it’s equal parts art gallery and cultural attraction. Nyannyan-ji opened in November 2016, when the artistically-inclined and cat-loving Kaya family decided to create a new kind of cat temple. The undisputed stars of Nyannyan-ji are the temple cats, who are sweetly dressed in temple garb, including Aruji (pictured) who is practicing to become a monk.

catland, cat culture, japan, ceramicscatland, cat culture, japan, ceramics

Maneki neko, or “beckoning cat”

In countless restaurants and shop windows throughout Japan, you’ll find bright-eyed ceramic cat figurines with one paw raised, toe-side out, welcoming you inside. The maneki neko, or “beckoning cat,” has been a fixture of the Japanese landscape since at least the turn of the 20th century.

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Cat Prin

Takako Iwasa, the tailor known to the world as “Cat Prin” (Prin was actually the name of her late cat), rose to fame in 2008. Iwasa started making cat fashions in 2000 and works in several styles. Iwasa has a special fondness for the aesthetics of Versailles, making cat costumes that echo the embroidered finery of France’s Ancien Régime. Classically English bowties, capes, and caps in plaids and tweeds are also popular.


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