The annual Bakeneko Parade took place in Tokyo last Sunday 15th of October, and it was purrrrfect!
Despite the unpleasant weather, participants and cat lovers from all over the world gathered in this supernatural event where music and meows filled the streets of Kagurazaka.
The reason that cats are seen as yōkai in Japanese mythology is attributed to many of the characteristics that they possess: for example, the way the irises of their eyes change shape depending on the time of day.
The abilities attributed to the bakeneko are various, but include shape-shifting into humans, dancing, speaking human words, cursing and possessing humans, manipulating dead people, etc.
I enjoyed the diverse takes on the bakeneko costumes, as people seemed to have very different ideas of how this “monster cat” from Japanese folklore may look. The participants had a lot of energy as well, it made the event so lively and exciting! You couldn’t help but bounce to the music while dodging umbrellas.
If you’d like to join the eerie glaring of cats next year, you’ll only need to pay a small fee (it was 500¥ this year) and register about an hour in advance. There’s a small shop too if you need (or want) some extra cat costume parts.
Would you participate in the Bakeneko Parade?