Chin Dog and Monkey 1915

This postcard shows a Japanese Chin puppy wearing a Maedare (Bib) and a pet Monkey wearing a collar and bell.

 

Maedare or Yodare-kake (Bibs or Ruffled Collars) are traditionally worn by cats and Chin dogs in Japan. Although it is uncertain how the tradition began, it is often attributed to the famous Genroku period (1688-1703) Tayuu (high-ranking courtesan) Usugumo.

 

Usugumo owned a beautiful cat called Tama, which was always carried by one of her attendant Kamuro when she went promenading. Because Tama loved to play with balls, Usugumo attached a golden bell to a luxurious Chirimen (silk crepe) bib, which would jingle when he was carried on Promenade. This strikingly beautiful scene was soon copied by other Courtesans and then became fashionable among the general population.

 

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Taken on March 16, 2012