New York opens Japanese-themed cat café

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Cats are a big phenomenon in Tokyo, and now the Japanese residents of New York City need only go to Soho to get their feline fixture.

New York City has this week welcomed Koneko, a Japanese cafe with the city’s only outdoor cat play area, or “catio.” Visitors can sip a Matcha tea or eat a Hiyayakko tofu snack whilst cosying up to ten cats that are also up for adoption.

The launch has coincided with National Cat Day on Thursday, and cat handler Jackie Luther told The Independent that the launch was good timing.

When asked about the reaction from passers-by, Ms Luther said: “It has been wonderful and joyous.”

The cafe was founded by Benjamin Kalb and the cafe plans to expand to hold at least 20 cats, over two floors. All the animals are from the Anjellicle Cats Rescue, which gets the animals via a trap and release program, neutering and spaying the cats before deciding whether to set them free or try to find new owners.

Further downtown in the East Village is Meow’s Parlour, which is fully booked for Halloween. It holds 12 cats and just opened in December last year.

Brooklyn’s first pop up cat cafe — The Cat’s Meow — was planned to close on 24 October but has announced it will be extended until late November.

A fourth cat cafe in New York, called Little Lions on Grand Street, is also about to launch.

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New York’s Met showing 150 newly donated Japanese art treasures

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An exhibition of 150 important Japanese artworks is being held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

It includes a statue of the Buddhist deity known as Fudo Myoo by sculptor Kaikei, who lived in the late 12th and early 13th centuries. The collection also includes a depiction of a plum tree by 18th century painter Ito Jakucho.

The works are some of the 300 or so items donated to the museum after the death of collector Mary Griggs Burke in 2012. The earliest is from the 10th century.

The exhibition was set to open Tuesday and run through next July 31.

Burke began collecting Japanese art in the 1960s, eventually acquiring about 1,000 items. It was described as the largest private collection of Japanese art outside of Japan.

Some of the pieces were exhibited in public in 1985, including at the Tokyo National Museum.

Part of the Burke collection was also donated to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

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