Nekomata, also known as “forked cats,” are a type of yōkai, or supernatural creature, in Japanese folklore. They are often depicted as two-tailed cats with the ability to shape-shift into human form. According to legend, nekomata are born from domestic cats that have grown old and transformed into yōkai due to their strong emotions or mistreatment.
There are two distinct types of nekomata described in Japanese folklore. The first type are the mountain nekomata, which are wild and ferocious creatures that live in the mountains and forests. The second type are the domestic nekomata, which are born from domestic cats that have lived for many years and grown two tails. Domestic nekomata are said to be more intelligent and capable of using magic than their wild counterparts.
Nekomata are often associated with bakeneko, another type of supernatural cat in Japanese folklore. While the two creatures share some similarities, such as the ability to shape-shift and cause mischief, nekomata are typically depicted as more powerful and malevolent. In some stories, nekomata are known to possess humans and cause illness or death. Despite their fearsome reputation, nekomata have also been depicted as loyal protectors and companions in some folktales.
Nekomata is a mythical creature from Japanese folklore that is often depicted as a two-tailed cat with supernatural powers. The creature’s origins can be traced back to the early Kamakura period, where it first appeared in the Meigetsuki by Fujiwara no Teika. The nekomata was said to have killed and eaten several people in one night in Nanto, which is now Nara Prefecture in Japan.
During the Edo period, which lasted from 1603 to 1868, the nekomata was a popular subject of Japanese art and literature. Many famous artists, including Kuniyoshi and Hokusai, depicted the creature in their works. The nekomata was often portrayed as a malevolent being that brought misfortune to those who crossed its path. It was believed that the creature could transform into a human and back into a cat at will, and it could also control the dead.
Tsurezuregusa is a collection of essays written by Yoshida Kenko during the Kamakura period. In one of the essays, Kenko writes about the nekomata. He describes the creature as a cat that has lived for many years and has grown two tails. According to Kenko, the nekomata is a malevolent creature that can control the dead and cause harm to humans.
Overall, the nekomata has been a prominent figure in Japanese folklore for centuries. Its portrayal has varied over time, but it has always been associated with supernatural powers and malevolent behavior.
Nekomata are a type of yokai, or supernatural creature, that are known for their cat-like appearance. They have fur that can range in color from black to white, and their eyes are often described as being similar to those of a cat. One particularly distinguishing feature of nekomata is their forked tail, which splits down the middle into two identical tails.
Nekomata are typically described as being larger than ordinary cats, with some accounts suggesting that they can grow to be as big as a small dog. However, their size can vary depending on the specific legend or story. In some tales, they are said to be the size of a regular house cat, while in others they are described as being as large as a tiger.
Despite their size, nekomata are known for their agility and speed. They are said to be able to move quickly and silently, making them difficult to catch or track.
In some legends, nekomata are said to have a white coat of fur. This is often associated with their ability to transform into a human form, as the white fur is said to represent purity and innocence.
One of the most distinctive features of the nekomata is its forked tail. This tail is said to be a sign of the creature’s supernatural powers, and is often associated with its ability to control the dead. In some legends, the nekomata’s tail is said to be able to move independently from the rest of its body, giving the creature even greater control over its surroundings.
The term “nekomata” is often used to refer specifically to the forked-tailed variety of bakeneko, another type of yokai that is similar in appearance to the nekomata. However, it is important to note that not all bakeneko have forked tails, and that the two terms are not always interchangeable.
Overall, nekomata are known for their cat-like appearance and supernatural abilities. While their size and appearance can vary depending on the specific legend or story, their forked tail is a distinguishing feature that is almost always present.
Types of Nekomata
Nekomata are a type of cat yokai found in Japanese folklore. There are two main types of nekomata: domestic nekomata and wild nekomata. Both types of nekomata have unique characteristics that set them apart from each other.
Domestic nekomata are cats that have grown old and transformed into yokai. These nekomata are often confused with bakeneko, another type of cat yokai. Domestic nekomata are born and raised in the same way as other cats. They are said to have the ability to shape-shift into human form and possess supernatural powers.
Wild nekomata are beasts that live in the mountains and forests. They are said to be born from wild cats, leopards, wild boars, and even bears. Wild nekomata are larger and more ferocious than their domestic counterparts, possessing sharp claws and teeth. They are known to attack humans who enter their territory.
Both types of nekomata are known for their distinctive feature of having two tails, which sets them apart from other yokai. They are also known for their ability to control the dead, and it is said that they can summon the spirits of the deceased to do their bidding.
In conclusion, nekomata are a fascinating and unique type of yokai found in Japanese folklore. They are divided into two main types: domestic nekomata and wild nekomata, each with their own unique characteristics. Whether they are born from domestic cats or wild beasts, nekomata are known for their distinctive two tails and their ability to control the dead.
Behavior and Abilities
Interaction with Humans
Nekomata are known to have a complex relationship with humans. While some nekomata are friendly and helpful, others are hostile and dangerous. Nekomata are known to possess a powerful influence over humans, which can be used for both good and bad purposes. Some nekomata have even been known to take on human form in order to better interact with humans.
Nekomata are known for their necromantic powers, which allow them to control the dead. They are able to animate corpses and use them as puppets, allowing them to carry out their bidding. Nekomata are also able to communicate with the spirits of the dead, and are known to be skilled at divination.
One of the most well-known abilities of the nekomata is their ability to create fireballs. It is said that they are able to create these fireballs by using their tails as a conduit for their magical energy. The fireballs can be used for both offensive and defensive purposes, and are known to be extremely powerful.
Overall, nekomata are powerful and complex beings with a wide range of abilities. While they are often associated with negative behaviors, it is important to remember that not all nekomata are the same. Some are friendly and helpful, while others are hostile and dangerous. It is important to approach them with caution and respect, and to be aware of their powers and abilities.
Nekomata in Popular Culture
Nekomata, the two-tailed cat yokai, has been a popular figure in Japanese folklore for centuries. Its appearance in popular culture has been no less significant with its inclusion in various anime, manga, and video games.
Anime and Manga
Nekomata has made appearances in several anime and manga series. One of the most popular examples is the character Kuro from the anime series “Blue Exorcist.” Kuro is a Nekomata who serves as a familiar to the protagonist Rin Okumura. Another notable example is the character Nyanko-sensei from the anime series “Natsume’s Book of Friends.” Nyanko-sensei is a Nekomata who transforms into a fat cat and serves as a guide to the protagonist Natsume.
Nekomata has also made appearances in various video games. One of the most notable examples is the character Nekomata from the video game “Persona 4.” Nekomata is a Persona that can be summoned by the protagonist and is depicted as a two-tailed cat yokai. Another popular example is the character Meowstic from the video game “Pokemon.” Meowstic is a Pokemon that is based on the Nekomata and can be found in both male and female forms.
Nekomata has also made appearances in other video games such as “Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4” and “Okami.” In “Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4,” Nekomata is a playable character who can be unlocked by completing certain tasks. In “Okami,” Nekomata is a demon who can be defeated by the protagonist Amaterasu.
Overall, Nekomata has been a popular figure in Japanese folklore and has made numerous appearances in popular culture. Its inclusion in anime, manga, and video games has helped to keep the legend of the two-tailed cat yokai alive and well.
Nekomata and Other Yokai
Nekomata is a type of yokai, a supernatural creature from Japanese folklore. They are described as a type of cat yokai that have grown old and transformed into a more powerful form. Nekomata are often depicted as having two tails and are known for their ability to manipulate the dead.
Comparison with Bakeneko
Nekomata are often compared to bakeneko, another type of cat yokai. While both are cat-like creatures, there are some distinct differences between the two. Nekomata are typically depicted as having two tails, while bakeneko have only one. Additionally, nekomata are often associated with manipulating the dead, while bakeneko are known for their shapeshifting abilities.
Relation to Kasha
Kasha is another type of yokai that is often associated with nekomata. Kasha are described as a type of demon that feeds on the corpses of the recently deceased. In some stories, nekomata are said to be able to summon kasha to feed on the corpses of those they have killed.
Overall, nekomata are a fascinating and complex type of yokai that have captured the imagination of people for centuries. Whether they are seen as benevolent or malevolent, they remain an important part of Japanese folklore and continue to be popular in modern culture.
Nekomata in Fine Art
Nekomata has been a subject of fascination in Japanese culture for centuries. This fascination has extended to the realm of fine art, where Nekomata has been depicted in various forms and styles.
One of the most popular forms of Nekomata art is woodblock prints or ukiyo-e. These prints were created during the Edo period and were widely popular among the masses. Many famous artists such as Utagawa Kuniyoshi and Tsukioka Yoshitoshi have created ukiyo-e prints featuring Nekomata. These prints often depict Nekomata as a powerful and fearsome creature with sharp claws and a long, forked tail.
Nekomata has also been a popular subject in contemporary art. Many artists have created paintings, sculptures, and illustrations featuring Nekomata. These artworks often showcase Nekomata’s dual nature as both a cute and cuddly cat and a terrifying monster. Some artists have even created Nekomata-inspired fashion and accessories.
In addition to fine art, Nekomata has also been featured in popular culture such as anime, manga, and video games. These depictions often draw inspiration from traditional Japanese folklore and mythology.
Overall, Nekomata has been a significant and enduring subject in Japanese fine art. Its unique combination of cuteness and terror has captivated artists and audiences alike, and its legacy continues to inspire new generations of artists.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the abilities of nekomata?
Nekomata are known for their shapeshifting abilities, and they can transform into humans or other animals. They also have the power to control the dead, and they can bring back the spirits of deceased cats to do their bidding. Some nekomata are also said to have the ability to control lightning.
What is the difference between nekomata and bakeneko?
Nekomata and bakeneko are both types of supernatural cats in Japanese mythology, but they have some differences. Nekomata are usually depicted as having two tails, while bakeneko have only one. Additionally, nekomata are typically more powerful and malevolent than bakeneko.
What does nekomata symbolize in Japanese mythology?
In Japanese mythology, nekomata are often seen as symbols of death and transformation. They are associated with the yin-yang philosophy, which suggests that everything in the universe has both positive and negative aspects. Nekomata are also sometimes seen as protectors of the home, and they are believed to bring good luck to those who treat them with respect.
Why do nekomata have two tails?
Nekomata are said to gain their second tail after living for an extended period of time, usually around ten years. This second tail represents their increased power and intelligence, as well as their ability to control the dead.
What are nekomata known for in Japanese folklore?
Nekomata are known for their malevolent nature and their association with death and transformation. They are said to be able to curse people and cause illness, and they are often depicted as killing and eating humans. However, they are also sometimes seen as protectors of the home, and they are believed to bring good luck to those who treat them with respect.
What is the significance of nekomata in Yokai Watch?
In the Yokai Watch video game and anime series, nekomata are one of the many types of yokai that the player can encounter and befriend. They are depicted as mischievous and playful, rather than malevolent, and they are often seen playing pranks on humans.