Most people who surf the net will know that cats are a favourite topic of the internet. And there are enough different personalities of internet cats to find the way into the hearts of the entire worldwide audience, from Grumpy Cat, for those of us who enjoy being grouchy, Shironeko, the smiley happy go lucky type, to Lil Bub for the arty and quirky souls.
But the popularity of cats in culture is not new; it is merely emphasized by the accessibility of the Internet. Cats have long been favourite subjects in many traditional art forms.
Cats Cat Cats – Cats of 19th century Japan Exhibition
It was in the 500s that Buddhism arrived in Japan. The philosophy not only brought the peaceful tradition to the Japanese culture but also a few feline friends with them. Those cats were use to protect the scriptures from the mice. Japanese people welcome cats into their home not only because of their ability to catch pests but because of their charm, the way they are and also because they are super cute!
Since then, Japanese artists have depicted them in paintings, whether it’s chasing mice, frogs, birds or simply frolicking in the garden. Cats were a highly popular subject for Japanese artists in the 19th century simply because cat art sells extremely well. Kitties also made appearances in many works of classical Japanese literature such as The Pillow Book and Tale of Genji.
The Shoto Museum of Art in Shibuya Tokyo has gone through a major renovation and is relaunching with a new exhibition: Cats Cats Cats ねこ・猫・ネコ (which is the word “cats” written in 3 ways). It’s an exhibition that showcase the cats of 19th century Japan in painting and sculptures. If you are in Tokyo, you can visit the show between April 5th – May 18th 2014.