CATS IN ASIAN ART

Cats in Asian art have been a part of Chinese, Japanese and Korean art for centuries and are still prominent subjects of contemporary artists.  The Chinese cat goddess Li Shou was worshipped and adored, and likewise, the Japanese paid tribute to the Maneneko who is said to have saved the life of a Samurai warrior.  Rooted deep in myth, the cat became an icon for Chinese and Japanese as well as other  Asian cultures.  Owned only by the elite few in Japan, early scrolls show cats on leashes and living luxurious lives indoors.  In contrast, in China cats were depicted as hunters.  In the Edo period (1603-1868), Japan was at peace and turned its attention to Ukiyo-e art and culture.  Ukiyo-e woodblock prints made art available for the masses, and the merchant class was the first to purchase such prints.  These prints depicted cats going about their natural cat behavior:  playing, sleeping and cleaning themselves.  Human forms soon became cats that were often caricatures that professed some social commentary.

In the mid-19th century Japanese Kabuki actors were portrayed by cats, as it was against the law to display actual pictures of the real actors and courtesans.  Because of cats’ viciousness, cat monsters appeared in art and in literature as Bakenekos.  Many Asian artists have portrayed the cat through history as pampered pets, hunters, ghosts, monsters or spirits. 

Here you will find more than 100 Asian artists organized by dynasty or period. Keep checking back, as this is an ongoing project, or subscribe and get weekly updates.

 

Posters and artwork are available from The Great Cat Store

 

CHINESE ARTISTS

B

Chang Baoli

Qi Basishi (1864-1957)

Xu Beihong (1895-1953)

 

C

Shen Chen-Lin (1260-1320, Yuan Dynasty)

Xing Chengai (1960-present)

Ching Dynasty (1644-1912)

Mi Chunmao (1938-present)

Fang Chuxiong (1950-present)

 

J

He Jianying (1957-present)

 

L

Tao Lengue

Zhu Ling (1820-1850)

 

N

Chou Nien-Tsu (Qing Dynasty, 1644-1911)

 

P

Jia Pingxi (1937-present)

 

Q

Zhang Qi (1964-present)

 

S

Yang Shaw-Hen (1913-2004)

Han Wu Shen (1950-present)

 

X

Pang Xiquan (1941-2006)

 

Y

Tieliang Yan (1942-present)

Wang Yauten (1894-1983)

Chen Yifei (1946-2005)

Gu Yingzhi 1945-present)

Ching Yu (1901-1966)

Zhang Yugong (1885-1968)

 

Z

Zhang Zhen (18th c)

Xie Zhiliu (1910-1997)

 

JAPANESE ARTISTS

 

D

Kobayashi Donge  (1927-present)

 

E

Ikeda (Keisai) Eisen (1790-1848)

Toshiyuki Enoki (Contemporary)

 

F

Shizuo Fujimori (1891-1943)

Asakura Fumio (1883-1964)

 

G

Yashima Gakutei (1786-1868)

Mochizuki Gyokkei (1874-1938)

Hayami Gyoshu (1894-1935)

Kawbata Gyokusho (1842-1913)

 

H

Kagayama Hakuho (1880? Taisho Showa Period)

Suzuki Harunobu (1724-1770)

Sadanobu Hasegawa (20th century)

Guyoshu Hayami (1894-1935)

Hiroshi Hiradawa (Contemporary)

Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858)

 

I

Yasunari Ikenaga (Contemporary)

Tomoo Inagaki (1902-1980)

Toraji Ishikawa (1875-1964)

 

K

Mori Kansai (1814-1894)

Tokuhiro Kawai (1971- present) 

Watanabe Kazan (1793-1841)

Takei Kichitaro (1902-1964)

Kikuchi Keigetsu (1879-1955)

Kazuaki Horitomo Kitamura (Contemporary)

Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847-1915)

Torii Kiyohiro (1737-1766)

Kiyochika Kobayashi (1847-1915)

Kobayashi Kokei (1883-1957)

Micao Kono (1876-1954)

Isoda Koryusai (1735-1790)

Kawanabe Koyosai (1831-1889)

Muramasa Kudo (1948-present)

Morikazu Kumagai (1880-1977)

Tsunoda Kunisada (1786-1864)

 

M

Miroco Machiko (Contemporary)

Aoyama Masaharu (20th century)

Ido Masao (1945- present)

 

N

Shinji Nakabori (Contemporary)

Tadashige Nishida (1942- present)

Suisho Nishiyama (1879-1958)

 

O

Maruyama Okyo (1733-1795)

Shozo Ozaki (contemporary)

 

S

Utagawa Sadakage (1818-1844)

Sanyu (1901-1966)

Masaaki Sasamoto (Contemporary)

Takeuchi Seiho (1864-1942)

Junichiro Sekino (1914-1988)

Maekawa Sempan (1888-1960)

Kotto Shoda (1871-1946)

Takahashi Hiroaki Shotei (1870-1945)

Hishida Shunso (1874-1911)

Tawara Sotatsu (died 1643)

Atsuko Suzuki (Contemporary)

Shinichi Suzuki (1835-1919)

 

T

Tetsuo Takahara (Contemporary)

Takeo Takei (1894-1983)

Kurofuneya Ymeji Takehisa (1884-1934)

Kanoko Takeuchi (Contemporary)

Tokuriki Tomikichiro (1902-2000)

Utagawa Toyokuni (1769-1885)

Mizuno Toshikata (1866-1908)

Mitani Toshiko (1904-1992)

 

U

Kunimasa Utagawa (1773-1810)

Kunisada Utagawa (1786-1865)

Kuniyoshi Utagawa (1797-1861)

Yoshifuji Utagawa (1828-1887)

Kitagawa Utamaro (1753-1806)

 

W

Tetsuhiro Wakabayashi (Contemporary)

 

Y

Midori Yamada (Contemporary)

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892)

Takehisa Yumeji (1884-1934)

 

Z

Shibata Zeshin (1807-1891)

 

KOREAN ARTISTS

B

Byeon Sang-byeok (Joseon Dynasty)

 

H

Jeong Seon Chuil Hanmyo

Kim Hong-do

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