You Will Pass Pleasant One Time

What Women Really Think
March 12 2010 2:39 PM

You Will Pass Pleasant One Time

/blogs/xx_factor/2010/03/12/japans_dark_catprophet/jcr:content/body/slate_image

I was raised in a time when parents were forcing their kids to take Japanese lessons, the better to welcome our coming Asian overlords. It always seemed strange, and we all pretty much forgot about it when Japan went into recession and we found other nations about which to fabricate existential crises. But I get it now, Japan. Our parents were right to fear you. It was never about cars or teamwork. It’s way deeper than that. Because while we were frittering our time away with Etsy, making baby hats and cake toppers, Iwasa-san " heard the voice ." "Take action this year," it said.

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The inspirational direction was so loud, she looked around for its source, she said.

"I went outside and looked at other people, wondering if they heard the same voice," Iwasa-san says. "But they didn’t seem to hear."

Iwasa-San found a needle and thread. And she took up the stuff of our childhood dreams and spun feral nightmares. Consider the Anne of Green Gables cat costume, which subverts and negates, in the delicate placement of curly red yarn atop the dark eyes of feline death-stare, every image Lucy Maud Montgomery ever conjured. The decadent Versailles collection is, if possible, even more disturbing. In her cross-catdressing propaganda film, Cat Prin! The Cute Show , Iwasa-san reports that "most of the ideas came from a world apart from our dimensional reality" and her responsibility is to "materialize these received images." And Iwasa-San isn’t just interested in dressing her own cat, Prin. No, she wants to spread the cat clothing-plague through her freakish Web site . Judging by her own words, she will not take no for an answer:

You need to dress a cat. And you will say to a cat together with a family. "It has changed just for a moment." You will pass pleasant one time.

Photograph of cat in "young lady blouse" from petoffice.co.jp .

Kerry Howley's work has appeared in the Paris Review, Bookforum, and the New York Times Magazine. She is currently finishing a book about consensual violence, ecstatic experience, and the body.

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