“Life of Cats” Is a Look at the Felines of Ancient Japan
The first cats of Ancient Japan arrived on boats that were transporting Buddhist scriptures from China. The cats stayed, making Japan their new home, and inspired a generation of artists and writers who were obsessed with the passive felines.
Life of Cats: Selections From the Hiraki Ukiyo-e Collection is an exhibition that chronicles the influence cats had in Japanese ancient art, particularly ukiyo-e woodblock prints of the Edo Period (1615-1867). The series is divided into five sections: Cats and People, Cats as People, Cats versus People, Cats Transformed and Cats and Play. The exhibition is currently on display at Japan Society, but for you non-New Yorkers, you can check out selected pieces from the exhibit above.