There is no population on Earth more fascinated by cats than the Japanese.
From cat cafes and train stations with feline stationmasters to the classic Maneki Neko waving cats that are supposed to bring good fortune and a whole island overrun by the furry animals, it's a national obsession that Manami Okazaki explores in her new book, Land of the Rising Cat.
Covering religion, destinations, artisans, pop culture, art and design, all dating back thousands of years, Okazaki investigates weird and wonderful stories of shrines, temples and festivals, and interviews toymakers, fashion designers and even an architect to uncover the country's love affair with cats. She even looks at cat-centric social media (Caturday, anyone?), manga and mascots.
As the description reads, "In a country with millions of cat owners, it's not unusual to find felines in coffee shops, hotel lobbies, and museums; being taken for stroller rides, or even serving as train stationmasters. But how did this cat mania start? Why does it continue to grow? And are there really Buddhist funeral services for cats?"
You'll find the answers to those questions in Okazaki's beautiful book. Published by Prestel, Land of the Rising Cat by Manami Okazaki is out from 5 September.