長崎にとても多い「尾曲ねこ」とは、かぎしっぽや短いしっぽ、そしてお団子みたいなしっぽを持つ猫のことです。主にインドネシアやマレーシア付近が原産地と考えられています。

その昔、オランダ貿易でねずみ対策として貿易船に乗せられ長崎の出島にやってきた猫の子孫では?という説もあります。

 

また、江戸時代に猫又という妖怪が恐れられていて、尻尾の長い猫は猫又になると考えられていました。だからこそ、短い尾曲りねこたちが愛され、繁殖したという説も。

 

現在、長崎のねこたちの約80%が尾曲ねこと言われています。この尾曲ねこたち、曲がったしっぽが幸せをひっかけてくると言われる縁起がいいねこなんです。

Nagasaki has a number of cats called ‘Omagari-neco (literally: curly tailed cats)’, which refers to a type of cats whose tails are distinctively shaped, such as the one that looks like a key and the one that looks like a bun hairstyle.

It is generally believed that these cats were originated from somewhere near Indonesia and Malaysia. 

For example, there is a theory that they are a descendant of those that were brought all the way to Dejima, Nagasaki from the Netherland in a bid to get rid of mice. (Dejima is an artificial trade island in which Dutch workers resided during Japan's era of isolation.)

 In addition to the theory above, some say that people in the Edo period particularly adored curly tailed cats as they were afraid of a monster called “Neco-mata” which was believed to be a transformation of a cat with a straight tail. 

At the moment, approximately 80% of cats that are in Nagasaki are said to have curly tails. 

These cats are thought as lucky charm which ‘hooks’ happiness to people.

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