Demons and Sh*t – Nekomata

Name: Nekomata
Type: Cat yokai
Origin: Japan

Nekomata playing shimisen from bakemono no e
A nekomata playing a shamisen, which were sometimes made using a cat’s skin. Serenading its victim before killing them, perhaps?

There are two types of nekomata in Japanese folklore: mountain nekomata and domestic nekomata. Mountain nekomata are described as attacking and eating humans, though those reports could easily be attributed to wild cats or even bears. Domestic nekomata are a little harder to explain away for those who believe in them. Domestic nekomata are believed to be regular housecats that have become demons in their old age. There are even some who believe that mountain nekomata are domestic cats that ran away. Nekomata are sometimes confused with another kind of cat demon called bakeneko. Nekomata are a lot darker and meaner than bakeneko though, and can be distinguished by their split tails. As a matter of fact, it is thought that that’s where the “mata” part of the name comes from, “mata” being a Japanese word for “again, once more, or too.” There is a folk belief that seven generations of a person’s family who killed a cat would be cursed (as they should be), and it is thought that that is where the nekomata myth originated.

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