There’s no doubt cats are a meaningful feature of Japanese life: from folklore to fashion, they’ve left a giant paw print on the culture. It’s believed that felines first appeared in Japan with the arrival of Buddhism via China in around 552, when their main role was to stop vermin from damaging scriptures.
But what can we learn from these philosophical felines? Surely they can teach us a thing or two, through the wisdom gleaned over the centuries residing in ancient temples and co-existing with artists, courtesans, monks and writers.
The Zen of Cat is interwoven with stories and facts about cats, Japan and Zen philosophy. Carla Francis includes discussions with Japanese cat lovers, and invites reflection and ‘mindful mewsings’ on life through an A-Z of Japanese words to inspire.
Cats are unburdened by worry. They maintain an enviable equilibrium. Maybe we can too?