In Japan, there are many miracles, myths, dragons, werewolves, legends... Female ninjas are a very mysterious phenomenon, there are many rumors, admiration, they were adored and avoided. Often Kunoichi tried on the image of a geisha or a servant girl. Possessing feline flexibility and agility, the ability to climb a wall with iron claws and the ability to obtain secret information. The more I read about Kunoichi, the more this image merged with the image of a cat. Cats in Japan are covered with many legends and names. From cute pets to bloodthirsty demons: Nekomata (猫又/猫股), Kasha (火車/化車), Gotoku-neko (五徳猫) and Kaibyo (怪猫). In the Kabuki theater, they put on plays about cats, they can be combined under the name "Cat Trouble". In The Illustrated Book of a Hundred Demons (Hyakkai Zukan, 百怪図巻, 1737) by Sawaki Sushi, there is a picture of a nekomata that takes the form of a girl playing the shamisen. It is Kaibyo (怪猫) that I will focus on, this is the spirit of a cat that drank the blood of its owner during its lifetime, who was unjustly killed or committed suicide. This spirit can take on the human form of the one whose blood it drinks. He takes revenge on the offenders, bringing confusion and controls their will. Kunoichi often risked her life, which is why I united in one idea with Kaibyo. Cats often took on the form of elegant graceful women, geisha were the epitome of feline beauty, let's not forget about samisen (it was made using cat skin). 2023.
Belgium, the private collection.