Exhibition themed on ‘Sakura Neko’ opens in Kagoshima to promote animal welfare

PUBLISHED Mar 23, 2022

Maple welcoming visitors

On March 19, illustrator and portrait model Maple’s solo exhibition “Sakura Neko: Please Be My Forever Family (The Japanese title: ぼくのずっとの家族になってください)” began at the shop and gallery SOMETHING in Tenmonkan, Kagoshima City.

Maple explained that she became interested in animal welfare activities nine years ago. She adopted a kitten after her animal-hoarding acquaintance was no longer able to care for the animals. Since her house was only large enough to foster one, she decided to hold this exhibition to support animal welfare by providing information and an opportunity for people to learn about Sakura Neko. Sakura Neko, meaning “a cherry-blossom cat,” is the name given to stray cats that have been captured, neutered, and have the tips of their ears cut in a V-shape like the petals of cherry blossom. It is part of the TNR activities conducted by volunteers.

Almost 150 works are on display at the exhibition, including 100 photographs of Sakura Neko in Sakurajima, 25 to 30 cat-themed illustrations, and 20 other works. The exhibition space has been designed to “create a soft atmosphere so that people who feel hesitant to join the world of animal protection can feel comfortable to drop by.”

Maple added: “I would be happy if people could learn about Sakura Neko, even if it is just the word. I hope this exhibition will help people realize that feeding animals is not the only way to love them and think about what they can do to prevent more animals from living a sad existence.”

Opening hours: 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Admission is 300 yen. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to animal welfare organizations. The exhibition is open until April 24.

  • Photographic works from the exhibition

  • Illustrations from the exhibition

  • Merchandise at the exhibition