Neko chigura

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Neko chigura
Neko tsugura
Neko chigura production demonstration in Michinoeki, Sekikawa.
Neko chigura in the Edo Period. (Fukagawa Edo Museum)

Neko chigura (nekochigura) or Neko tsugura (nekotsugura) is a kind of cat house made of straw in Japan. It is a folk craft of Sekikawa-mura, Niigata-ken, or Akiyamago (the area of Tsunan-machi, Niigata-ken and Sakae-mura, Nagano-ken). It is called "Nekochigura" in Sekikawa, and "Nekotsugura" in Akiyamago.

Chigura or tsugura is written as "稚座" in kanji, and means bassinet in the Niigata dialect where there is the custom to use rice straw baskets for babies. Niigata constitutes, in fact, a rice granary and the basket industry is a side business in the winter season when the prefecture becomes snowbound.[1]

Presently, chigura for cats vary in shape according to the originality of the producer. There are two common types: Pillbox type and pot-shaped type, there are also some basket types. As cats seem to prefer small enclosed spaces, they like neko chigura to sleep in.

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  1. ^ Satsuki shobo "Neko chigura" editorial staff, ed. (July 2010). Happy Neko Chigura--photo book of cats, men and home village--we met these cats and men at Echigo, Sekikawa. edited by Neko chigura group in Sekikawa, Niigata. Satsuki shobo. ISBN 978-4-7727-0485-4. 

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