Cats have crawled their way into every aspect of Japanese life for centuries. The “hand-fed tigers” were first brought to mainland Japan from India by the Chinese around 500 A.D. to protect Buddhist scrolls from mice. Now a campaign revealing mini furniture for cats is unveiled in Japan amid a new generation of craftsmen’s hopes to build upon a century old industry.
The new campaign entitled “craftsman MADE” is intended to reinvigorate the once-prosperous craft industry of Japan’s Fukuoka prefecture region. Home to 150 furniture-manufacturing factories, Okawa Kagu came up with the idea to merge the internet’s love for cats with the skills of local artisans. The new production took existing full-scale designs and miniaturized them to produce high-quality small-scale versions.
The global pet accessories market is a billion dollar industry and the American Home Furnishings Alliance says that pet furniture, in particular, is booming. A 2015 study by the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council suggests that most millennial customers today have no qualms about spending for fancy pet beds because they see their domestic animals as family members.