日本語 | English

■ We are featuring Local Dishes, October 31 to November 29.







Atom_feed
Neko-chigura
The Igloo-shaped Bedding for Cats
Date:15, Jan, 2021
Investigated and Written by Misaka Youhei
About our introductory articles


Have you ever heard Neko-chigura? I suppose almost no. I guess it is not so well-known in Japan. The first time I heard was 2020 when Spitz released their song named Neko-chigura. It means I had been unfamiliar until 2020. And the song doesn't tell what Neko-chigura is.


Neko-chigura (some say Neko-tsugura) means the igloo-shaped bedding for cats. It has been produced in Niigata since the Edo era. Neko means a cat, chigura does a cradle for babies. Weaving rice straw, they make the bedding. Niigata is popular as the prefecture producing rice most in Japan, I suppose it is no hard that they obtain rice straw there.



Cat in the Neko-chigura

File: Cats (8258631090).jpg
from the Japanese Wikipedia
(Photoed on December 9, 2012)


Why did they begin to make the bedding for cats? If we belong to the Back to the Future world, we will make it clear without problems. I don't have any time-machine, however. And let me show my hypothesis here. As mentioned above, Niigata has been the prefecture producing rice most in Japan. It means most of them were rice farmers there. Have you ever done rice farming? Their enemies are wild rodents like squirrels and mice. And they hate wild birds like sparrows and crows. They deeply damage the crops without malice. Rice farmers need the measures to repel the wildlife. Then, they decided to keep cats who ate the enemies. Cats have been their important business partners, probably. Are you saying it is mysterious that they prepared the bedding for the partners?



The Japanese old woman making Neko-chigura

File: Production of Neko-chigura.jpg
from the Japanese Wikipedia
(Photoed on July 7, 2007)


They weave rice straw, build Neko-chigura. And no matter how you weave, no one criticizes. It means you can freely make it when you have straw and some tools like scissors. Why don't you do it yourself if you desire?


Neco-chigura Union (Japanese)





 

Iwayado-tansu
Completely Made in Iwate

Hotoku
Worked with the Japanese baby Boomers?