About Me

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Washington, United States
loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Sunday, March 10, 2013

nekomata, the cat with supernatural power

thanks wikimedia commons {{PD-Japan-oldphoto}}
Is that a cat playing the samisen?  Yes- but not just any cat. This graceful performer is a nekomata, a "forked-cat."  This is a Japanese bakeneko cat-demon that has lived so long, its tail has split in two and its powers of necromancy have increased.  Since the standard bakeneko had quite the laundry list of abilities anyway, including flying, talking, and animating the dead, imagine how much you would not want to make one mad.
This image is a special variant on the nekomata myth in a book of "One Hundred Weird Tales," ("Hyakki-Zukan") by Sawagi Suuhi.  In this list of strange supernatural beings, Suuhi chose to show the demon as an accomplished, perhaps even melancholy woman playing the samisen, an instrument made with catskin.  The skin of a relative or friend?  There's more about this creature at this fine blog.
Meanwhile my own cat-demons call me to service them and you know I can't ignore that summons!
Happy Sunday morning, everyone.


tanya said...

I kind of mis-read that at first and though one of her super-powers was doing the laundry

curator said...

Tanya, in my house doing the laundry IS a super-power...where's a cat demon when you need one?