Religion and history towards cats in Japan Cats
- Slides: 13
Religion and history towards cats, in Japan
Cats and Japanese people live in harmony for centuries. They have temples dedicated to cats, and specific rituals when they go to this temples: purification fountain, special prayers, ring the bell, they make ritual bows then make a whish and a final bow. We found few legends about the apparition of Maneki Neko, also referred to in English as the "good fortune" or "good luck" cat.
Legend in Japan has it that a cat waved a paw at a Japanese landlord, who was intrigued by this gesture and went towards it. A few seconds later a lightning bolt struck where the landlord had been previously standing. The landlord attributed his good fortune to the cat's fortuitous action. A symbol of good luck hence, it is most often seen in businesses to draw in money. In Japan, the flapping of the hand is a "come here" gesture, so the cat is beckoning customers. An old woman, living in Imado in eastern Tokyo, was forced to sell her cat due to extreme poverty. Soon afterwards the cat appeared to her in a dream. The cat told her to make its image in clay. She did as instructed, and soon afterward sold the statue. She then made more, and people bought them as well. These maneki-neko were so popular she soon became prosperous and wealthy.
There are more then 2 legends of Maneki Neko cat, being the savior of a woman, who was close to be bit by a snake, and sacrifice her self in saving her owner; the stray at and the shop – where a poor man take care of a stray cat despite barely having enough to feed himself, in gratitude, the cat takes up a station outside the establishment and beckons in new visitors, bringing prosperity as a reward; The nobleman-warning cat: One day a luminary passed by a cat, which seemed to wave to him. Taking the cat's motion as a sign, the nobleman paused and went to it. Diverted from his journey, he realized that he had avoided a trap that had been laid for him just ahead. Since that time, cats have been considered wise and lucky spirits; and many more…
All of these stories led to a positive mentality towards cats; people believe that this cats bring them happiness and luck and prosperity. During times, as we live in a consuming society, the industry around this symbol had developed a lot. They now have different meanings: Tri-color Cat: (modeled after the Japanese bob-tail breed, this is a popular & traditional color for lucky cats, beckoning general good luck, wealth, prosperity) White Cat: purity, happiness Black Cat: safety, wards off evil and stalkers Golden Cat: wealth and prosperity Red Cat: protection from evil & illness (especially illness in children) Pink Cat (a more modern color): love, relationships and romance Green Cat (also a modern color): educations/studies Right Paw raised: invites money and good fortune (usually to businesses) Left Paw raised: invites customers or people (Some suggest the right & left paws both invite business-related prosperity, but that the left paw is for businesses of the night, such as bars, geisha houses & restaurants. Use of lucky cats in homes is more recent) Both Paws raised: invites protection of home or business Coin: wealth and material abundance Bib and Bell: may relate to protection, as well as wealth and material abundance
Japanese people don’t have much room space, to keep cats at home or because the landlord doesn’t allow them to keep them, but the collective subconsciounes had this pattern of cats and their positive impact upon our lives, the bussinesman found a fantastic solution with a big success in 2004, The Cats Coffee. Now there are over 100 in Japan.
Another business idea was Tama Train, a cat, who was lost near a rail way station. She was founded by the chef, who made her the mascot. She has a special suit. The train car was redesigned, they build gift shops, they made sweets, t-shirts and many clients are coming to visit it.
There is a new trend in the architectural movement in japan, for the people who live in bigger houses outside the big city, to redesign their interior ambiance according to the need of the cats, to live in harmony with them.
Cat island: it’s a small island in N-E of Japan, a reservation for cats and also a tourist attraction. It was an 8, 5 earthquake, followed by a huge tsunami, and cats saved themselves running up to the only hill to the island. They survived, but as they where unsterilized they overpopulated the island, and they are very small size, like the alpha’s in the group. People came every day, and feed them and also the fishermen provide food. There is also a vet coming few times per week. People build little shrine where they worship the cats, and the tourist bring offrand set up rituals.
Fukushima in March 2011, was a huge earthquake and a tsunami and an release radiation. People left behind their cats. Only 30% were neutered, they still survived there. There are few foundation like “Japan Cat Network” who goes there and take care of them.
Task 2: How you can use the information , make a plan 1. Purpose (Why): To change perception of Romanian people, change their habits on non human animals. 2. Audience (Who): We purpose people in Romania, no age limit – education starts with children. 3. Delivery (How): We start inform people, and take classes of AWE in schools, high schools, libraries. 4. Context (What): How Japan respect and protect and offer a good life for cats, and why we have bad superstitions about cats. The project involve the 3 main stages aspects of AWE: knowledge & understanding – bring information about religion and history in Japan and make people empathise; skills & competence – promote how to take care and to accomplish their need, also promote adoption and neutered. respect & value – change people perception towards cats. As a resource we use volunteers, posters, flyers, website, as partners we have school institution, pet expo’s, any kind of cultural event involving animals.
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