I love Japan’s tradition of creating special days based on the flimsiest of excuses, like how November 23 is “Good Big Brother Day” because the date looks like ii niisan phonetically, or how October 10th is “Moe Day” because the date is written in kanji (十月十日) looks like the kanji for moe (萌) written in vertical order. Today, February 22, is Cat Day in Japan, for no other reason than the numbers 2/22 sound like nyan, nyan, nyan or “meow, meow, meow” to the Japanese. So let’s all do something nice for our cats, if you have any, and look at the history of cat culture in Japan.
The History of Cats and Japan
The first cats came to Japan from the Korean Peninsula around 1 B.C., for the purpose of controlling mice who would try to eat the rice harvests. It took several centuries for cats to be mentioned in historical documents and literature, but by the Nara Period (710-794) cats were firmly established as a part of Japanese culture.
The kanji for cat is 猫. Kanji may look like random scribbles, but there are meaning built into the various elements of each character, for example most animals such as wolf (狼) and fox (狐) have the same left half as the above cat character. This is called kemono-hen, signifying that they represent beasts of some kind. These kanji pieces, called radicals, can often allow a person to guess a character’s meaning even if he can’t read it.
Yes, you could say that Japan loves cats. There’s even a Japanese professional photographer named Mitsuaki Iwago who travels the world making documentaries about cats living in exotic places like Croatia. That Japan has the surplus economic resources to concern itself with the welfare of random cats on the other side of the world is amazing to me.
If you love catgirl-related sexy products from Japan, browse the ranking on J-List now!
The 7 Best Catgirls in Anime
Naturally, we can’t let the subject of cats go without exploring who the best catgirls in anime are.
I don’t think anime girls wearing cat kigurumi count as actual catgirls, but it’s close enough for government work, as they say. Laura and Charlotte are two great nekomimi to celebrate on Cat Day in Japan.
Cyan from Show by Rock is an adorable catgirl who plays a mean guitar.
Illya from Fate/Kaleid certainly makes a satisfying catgirl, any way day of the week.
Rem Galleu from How Not to Summon a Demon Lord is the catgirl we’d all love to have us call “Master.”
If you’re looking for anime catgirls, there’s no better show than Asobi ni Iku Yo!, aka Cat Planet Cuties. Even if you’re not looking for anime catgirls…
What’s the best catgirl-themed ero toy from Japan? It’s called the Newnew Hard + Soft, and we have a review for you here!
Of course, Koneko from High School DxD has all the right assets to be the perfect anime catgirl to spend Cat Day in Japan with!
But in the end, I think many of us would choose Chocolat and Vanilla from Nekopara. And we have lots of official figures and sexy products for Nekopara fans in stock on the site!
J18 Publishing is really kicking butt so far in 2021, bringing out lots of new fully translated + uncensored doujinshi for your collection, licensed by the original artists and printed with the same high quality as the Japanese originals, but with no censorship. The newest offering is in stock, Maid Payback, about a very sexy maid!