The Ghost Cat of Okinawa.

This spectral creature, seen here in a photo taken by Professor Hiroshi Hondo of Tokyo University during a family picnic, was first made famous in the west by the Lafcadio Hearn story “The Cat That Ate My Hat,” wherein a humble American journalist residing in Okinawa is precipitated into financial ruin by bad gambling advice from a local hat blocker.

In the story, Hearn describes this creature as being the angry spirit of a cat who was always well treated in life, but who spent so much time sleeping that he never had the opportunity to write the great Japanese novel.

Embittered by his literary failure the cat now roams the island of Okinawa searching for would-be literati to harass. In 1956 the cat sneered at Yukio Mishima “Osawa hano garatimasu, egawa karatusu!” which translates roughly as “You’ll never win the Nobel, you bastard, so why don’t you just end it all?” or at least this is what Mishima claimed in his suicide note.

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