Do you love cats? Well, so does Japan! While the Japanese love their pet dogs and can sometimes be seen carting them around in strollers, there is a special place in the heart of Japanese society for cats.
Called Neko in Japan, cats have been loved by the Japanese people for many centuries. They have been portrayed in hundreds of Japanese woodblock (ukiyo-e) artworks since the Edo period, most notably by acclaimed artist Utagawa Kuniyoshi. One of the most famous literary works, Natsume Soseki’s I Am A Cat, satirizes Japanese society through the lens of a feline narrator.
Modern Japanese pop culture is also rife with feline-inspired mascots, including Sanrio’s beloved Hello Kitty and Doraemon, as well as anime cats such as Nyanko Sensei from Natsume Yuujincho, Meowth from Pokemon, and Luna from Sailor Moon.
Needless to say, there are plenty of amazing Japanese cat products that you can find here! If you’re looking for gifts for the cat lovers in your life (or yourself!), we’ve got you covered. We’ve put together our list of top x products to buy for any cat lover. If you’re looking for something for your feline friends, though, check out our list of Japanese pet products you must buy!
Everyone loves stationery! Whether you are a student or already working, there is always a use for stationery. The great news is, Japan does not just adore cats, they love stationery, so when you marry the two, you get the most kawaii products! From notebooks to washi tape, you’ll be able to find purr-fect and affordable gifts for cat lovers.
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Are you looking for a cuddly feline friend, but can’t adopt a cat at the moment? Fulfill your longings with a kitty plushie! You can find all sorts of Japanese cat plushies, including incredibly life-like ones. If you’d prefer, a lot of famous characters are also available as plushies, so you can cuddle up with Hello Kitty or Jiji from Kiki’s Delivery Service.
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Here’s a classic Japanese symbol that would make a perfect gift for anyone! The maneki-neko, which literally translate to ‘beckoning cat’, is a traditional symbol of luck in Japan and is said to bring you good fortune by beckoning (not waving!) with their paw. You can often see maneki-neko figures at many shopfronts as well as some households.
Everyone needs a good clock in their life to keep tabs on the time, which makes it one of our top gift ideas! For the cat-loving friend, get them a cat-shaped clock or a watch with a cat face on it and they are sure to appreciate you even more. In Japan, you can even find kitty pendulum clocks, where the cat’s tail swings back and forth! If that isn’t adorable, we don’t know what is…
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Packing your lunch for school or work is cheaper, healthier and more environmentally-friendly! When you add in adorable kitties in the mix, well, it’s win-win. Bento is a way of life in Japan, so there are many different types of adorable kitty bentos to suit your needs, some of which already come with matching cutlery. If you’re looking for bento accessories or tools to help make character bentos (kyaraben), check out our list of the best bento box tools!
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A study by Harvard Business School revealed that people who wear quirky socks are more successful, and who are we to argue with research? Take your success to the next level by wearing socks emblazoned with your favorite animal! There are even socks meant to make your feet look like paws, which we’re sure will get a paw-sitive reaction.
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Japanese cat mugs are next-level! You might easily find a mug with a cute kitty illustration anywhere in the world, but what about a transparent mug that makes you look like the Cheshire cat when you’re drinking? Or cups shaped like cat paws? These mugs may seem like novelty items, but are very much functional!
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8. Gamaguchi (Purse)
Ever wondered how people use up all their loose change? Get the cutest cat purse that will make you want to take it out and use it. In Japan, many people have a gamaguchi, which is a purse with a metal frame. It uses a clasp to open and close and is incredibly secure, so all your coins and other thingamabobs can be kept safe.
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Escape the tedium of every day with impossibly kawaii cat calendars! These calendars would make a fantastic addition to the wall or desk in any ailurophile’s home. There are many different varieties to choose from, but a particular favorite of ours includes kitties with flowers on their tiny heads!
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10. Coin Banks
Let the cat in the box help you save money! This piggy bank gadget makes saving money the most delightful experience. You put a coin on a pedestal and a kitty will pop up to swipe it, which perhaps does not sound like the most practical piggy bank, but is incredibly fun! You can also find normal cat coin banks.
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Which is your favorite? Let us know!
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