This is the newest print in our ever-growing Cats series. Just like its predecessor, ‘Sushi Cats’, this new design also maintains the lighthearted feel of a night on the town. The animals are out for an evening snack, stopping at this open stall for a quick bowl of comfort food. One wonders – what kind of broth do cats prefer? Pork? Fish? Chicken? … Mouse bone? This print is full of Japanese cat puns.
- The smaller cartouche reads:
- ねこじたも (neko-jita) literally means ‘cat tongue’ in Japanese. It’s an idiom that means “someone who can’t eat hot food”. The imagery of a cat timidly lapping with its tongue is a fun metaphor for a person who can’t commit to a hot bowl of soup! Westerners are sometimes referred to as neko-jita, because they are often surprised by how hot the Japanese like their food.
Jed Henry grew up in rural Indiana and “fell in love with video games”, most of which had their origins in Japan. “I escaped into the world of heroes, competition, and fun that Japanese gaming offered. Later, I served an LDS mission in the Tokyo area, where I fell in love with Japan and the Japanese people. Then, while a student at Brigham Young University, I had the opportunity to study Japan’s culture and history alongside my major field of animation. I began to wonder if there was a way to bring all the places, people, and characters I loved into one medium.
For hundreds of years, Japanese woodblock printmakers worked in a thriving popular art scene. Their prints depicted heroes, villains and monsters, spanning every genre from satire, to romance, to horror. This heritage is especially evident in Japan’s video game industry, a new chapter in an ancient, enduring culture. To celebrate Japan’s contribution to video games, Jed took his favorite game characters and returned them to the ukiyo-e woodblock-print style. He lives in Provo, Utah with his family.