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Nekomata

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The Nekomata is one of the spirits from Japanese mythology. The Nekomata has the appearance of an ordinary pet cat except that it has two tails instead of one. When not being observed by other people, the Nekomata is able to walk on two legs. It also possesses the ability to transform into demonic beings when it is angry.

It first appears in the book Yamato Kaiiki which means ‘Mysterious Stories from Japan’ (1705). In one story in the haunted house of a rich samurai, the house witnesses poltergeist-like activities. The samurai invites monks, shamans and evokers to end the mysterious happenings. However none of these people are able to put an end to the activities. One day one loyal servants spots an old cat of the house carrying a spirit with it. In an instant the servant fires an arrow which hits the cat straight in the head, killing it instantly. All the inhabitants of the house gathered around the dead cat and saw that the cat had two tails instead of one and was a Nekomata. With the death of the demon cat the paranormal activities come to an end.

The Nekomata cat also features in other stories from Japan including Yusuke (1723) and Roo Chabanashi (1742).

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