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Posts tagged cat



Tomb of the faithful cat

You can find this between the Ryogoku Metro Station and the sumo arena in Tokyo. It’s a story from the Edo Era.

This photo is from 2010, and the plaque has since been replaced. The new version has the title in English (but no translation of the rest).

The story in English is something like this (copied from elsewhere, not a direct translation of the above):

“Near the vicinity of Fukagawa, a cat-lover and fish-dealer named Rihei would come to the house of Tokita Kisabu to sell some fish. Tokita had a mottled cat that he had kept for about four of five years, and Rihei never failed to toss a fish to the cat when he came calling.

A time came when Rihei fell ill and could no longer go on his rounds selling fish. That same mottled cat came calling instead at Rihei’s house and said:

“I haven’t seen you for such a long time, I thought I had better come and check on you.”

“I am ill and have not been able to sell my fish.” Rihei answered.

Hearing this, the cat’s head hung low as he slinked out of the home. He soon returned, bearing a single golden koban coin in his mouth.

With this, Rihei was able to go back into business and once again returned to his custom of tossing a fish to the cat when he was on his rounds. The cat came calling once again to Rihei’s house, this time bearing a bounty of three coins in his mouth. Sadly, Rihei was not in and the clerk at the shop was so startled by the cat’s strange appearance that he swung at the mottled cat and killed it.

Rihei was saddened by this, and after discussing it with Tokita decided to use the money born by the cat to build a grave for him at the Ekou-in temple, where it stands to this day.”

Temple kittens

 shofukuji kittens cats japan

Shofukuji kittens

Two nights ago I watched Tampopo (タンポポ) for the first time. If you haven’t seen this flick, you should. Although mostly about ramen, it also is about eating in all forms. So when today’s photo showed up as my desktop image of the day it felt appropriate to link the two. Although you can only see parts of two of them, there were actually about five kittens enjoying breakfast via mama cat on this morning.

Japanese cat

cat japan

If one had to sum up Japan in three words, all three could come from this photo: beauty (the roof tiles), cement, and pets.

By request, this could be a scene out of Kafka on the Shore as well.

A porch to hang out on

A cat is enjoying the shade of this temple porch in today’s photo.

Yakushido (the three larger characters on the sign, 薬師堂) literally means Hall of the Medicine Teacher. I believe this is in reference to the “Medicine Buddha” of Mahayana Buddhism.

This lovely building can be found in the complex of Gokokuji in Tokyo. Notice the paper stuck to the top of the posts on either side of the door. These are senjafuda (千社札) which I will deal with in more detail in a later entry.

Temple Guardians

When a nio isn’t providing a temple with quite enough protection, it’s time to call for some feline assistance.

This ungyo (吽形) guardian can be found at Saifukuji (最福寺, a.k.a. Enoshima Daishi or 江ノ島大師) on Enoshima. I’m not sure if you will find the cat here or not, although you are almost sure to see some wandering the island.