Louise Hung is an American writer currently living in Japan. Her latest post on The Order of the Good Death, entitled “Paying my respects to the most loyal cat in Japan,” relates her adventure in visiting the grave of the Hachikô of cats.
Maybe Nagai really did have a cat he dearly loved. Maybe that cat did appear to be distraught when his master didn’t come home. Maybe somebody got confused and when a cat died near the grave, they conflated the cats and a legend was born. Maybe the people at the time needed such a story. Why look a good legend in the mouth?
And if nothing else, the story of Nagai’s cat led me to a cheery, little graveyard (for a warlord) that I might not have ever known existed. Death folklore (with cats!) plus historic graves? I’ll take it!