Neko Kabocha - 猫南瓜 - Cat Squash Pumpkin yokai sticker
Neko Kabocha - 猫南瓜 - Cat Squash Pumpkin yokai sticker
Neko Kabocha - 猫南瓜 - Cat Squash Pumpkin yokai sticker

Neko Kabocha - 猫南瓜 - Cat Squash Pumpkin yokai sticker

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•About this Yokai•

Neko Kabocha - 猫南瓜

A Pumpkin (Kabocha squash) that grew from the body of a murdered cat...

"The Tale of The Cat squash" goes a little something like this:

"A plump cat was living in a small port town near an Inn were fishermen often stayed: it had been stealing fish every night which were supposed to be for the guests to eat: quickly this stray was becoming a nuisance to those staying there, and not wanting to put up with their dinner being stolen every single day: One of the fishermen guests decided to murder the cat in the dead of night.

...The next day the fisherman booked out of the hotel and lazily threw the cats remains in with the gardens compost, they did not tell the innkeeper...
Soon enough the cruel fisherman had forgotten all about the cat...

A year or so passed and the same fisherman returned to the Inn: That night the innkeeper, being a gracious host: had prepared a special meal to celebrate the mans return: He had spotted a plump, delicious squash growing healthily his garden-- Just as the fisherman was about to cut into it and chow down: The innkeepers wife commented on something strange about the squash: before it was prepared, she noticed that it was shaped similarly to a cute kitty cats head: oh-- how she missed her pet...

--This jogged the fisherman's memory, he dropped his fork in shock: excusing himself, and rushing out to the garden...

...Uprooting the remaining vines; they were found to have grown from the skull of the very same cat, its remains dangling, vines strung through its eyes sockets. --A horrific scream was heard from indoors... The innkeeper & his wife had begun to eat, The squash was terribly poisoned: they had choked and died instantly... The Squash was grown from the cats body: out of a grudge towards the fisherman." – The End!

Variants: The details of this story, such as who gets killed & the exact reason for the cat's death will differ according to where the story is told, for example: sometimes the cat was killed simply because it was stealing fish, while other times it's killed because someone thought that the cat was out to kill the fishermen or a family member. – [in my retelling of it, the innkeeper & his family unfortunately suffer the curse.] – In other variants change from what orifice it grows, as well as the kind of vegetable itself. Main similarity is that it always grows on a vine.) I've heard tellings where its was a watermelon instead of a squash: but I think the pumpkin is the most popular version. - In Kangawa Prefecture; its often said that there where Cucumbers instead. 

Regardless of exact origin:- It sounds like another tale of BakeNeko or Nekomata. (Those demonic Cats will get ya, even from beyond the grave) This would also probably be considered an story about an onryō (A vengeful spirit holding a grudge.) 

However: as I cannot find an exact date tied to this story - [all my sources say that its simply "told all over Japan"] there's just not enough consistent data to give it a proper origin. - [it could just be a modern urban legend and have nothing to do with any particular Yokai/stories from the past!] - If anyone can find more info, like dates, older stories, or specific origins of the tale, let me know!

Kabocha are winter squashes – Similar to pumpkins (but not) They can be green, white or red/orange and are basically shaped visually the same to pumpkins except they're a bit more squat. The main difference is that they taste more closely to a sweet potato. (its hard to make sure they look visually different so i went with the more iconic green one)

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! –

(I would also like to give a quick shout out my yokai friend @zatoumushi for helping to clarify certain parts about this story for me as well, please check out their yokai work too!)