Nekomusume - 猫娘 - [yokai]
•About this yokai: are either a transformed Bakeneko or a cat-human hybrid: like any other cat, they hunts & eat mice and rats, purrs when shes happy and licks people with her long scratchy toungue!! –
• History: This design was inspired by the transformed Nekomata seen in old picture scrolls such as Hyakki Zukan (1737) - Traditionally; shamisen were made from catskin, so pictures of bake neko playing this instrument are quite ironic...
Today: Catgirls are a staple in cosplay & anime, but what most fans don't realize is that the nekomimi-craze has origins reaching as far back as the Edo period! The original "nekomusume" or "cat daughter" was an exhibitior at "Misemono" a 1700's market style "beleive it or not?" style exhibition, Featuring abnormal crafts, curiosities & many other oddities. - Sometime around 1769 in Asakusa there was an exhibitor who pulled off the cat look so convincingly that everyone thought she was a real deal Yokai, whether she was born that way, or if it was makeup: she pulled off the cat look so convincingly that most people believed that she was an actual Bakeneko! – Her tale was short lived however as these sideshows died off sometime in the 1780's.
Although BakeNeko where supposed to be the things of horror stories, soon clever yujo (prostitutes) would begin to capitalize on the whole alluring "cat-act" taking on pet names Equivalent to "kitty" and doing the whole "nya"-thing to try to playfully convince their patrons that they were something more than human!
Then, The Tenpo-Reforms of 1842 brought a ban on drawing art of entertainers: kabuki actors, politicians & geisha by the shogunate. Disappointed, Artists who read the law creatively realized there was no ban on drawing animals – "fine then, Everyone is a cat now!!!" as a result, there was a boom of 'actors as animals' & anthropomorphic cat-folk in Edo period artwork (other animals too of course) but this remained popular for decades to come (even after the ban was lifted) over time, the craze naturally evolved into neko-mimi girls that we all know today. – The allure of cats is truly, a tale as old as time...
Sticker Art by @Samkalensky (yo thats me!) - Part of my Night parade of 100 Demons - Yokai & Japanese folklore sticker collection, weather-resistant 4" Glossy sticker. Check my shop & follow @samkalensky for many more!