Hyakumankai Ikita Neko / Hyakumankaiikitaneko / (The Cat who lived a million times) / 100万回生きたねこ / 100まんかいいきたねこ

1970s or earlier

Author : Yoko Sato 佐藤洋子
Published : 1977
Personal recommendation : 5 years old
and up

This is very classic yet still very famous/popular book for all the family. (published more than 40 years ago)  It is actually a sad story but it would give not only kids but adults an opportunity to think what the meaning is life is all about and what the love/affection is. Some people (adults) would have shown tears on their cheek while reading this.  This book is actually more for adult to read.

The story goes as follow. Once there was a special cat who lives one million years. He died one million times but he came back/revived million times. Because of his each death each time, he has seen people crying over his death million times. But Cat himself never cried even once.  As his life was long enough, millions of people in varieties had him as pet. The owner’s professions are ranging from a king to a fisherman to a even girl. 

  • When a King who always had a war against enemy had this cat as pet, he took very good care of his cat.  Yet, the cat got hit by an arrow during a war and died.  In the deepest sadness, king ceased the war and came back to his kingdom for funeral.
  • When fisherman had him, the fisherman mistakenly dropped his cat into the ocean. Fisherman and his colleagues had a sad funeral at the shore.
  • When the magician of circus had the cat, he was on stage with his cat.  While showing his magic of cat’s disappearance from the box, he mistakenly stabbed the cat in the box with sword and the magician cried hard on the stage.
  • When the thief had him, the thief tried to break into some house and the dog of this house starts barking at them. While the dog bit this cat to the death, thief stole the stuff from house but he was in sadness due to loss of cat.
  • When old lady who lives alone in her house had him, old lady kept him on her knees all the time.  But one day the cat passed away and old lady cried as this old lay got truly alone in her world.

However, this cat never felt sad or unhappy as he revived every time. One day, nobody has him a pet and the cat lives his own life.  For the first time, he became free of everything and being true himself. He started bragging about his adventurous life to other cats.  Once day, he met this lady white cat.   He bragged in the same way but white cat never showed interest in his story.  “What do you know, you have not even lived one single life and encountered one death” says the male cat.  Though he tried to show off his great experience, white cat never responded. The male cat was attracted to this cat and stays around her all the time since. Soon after, white cat had several baby kitties, the male cat realized he stopped bradding his past any more.   Later, all of their kitties grown up and left the parents.  The male cat felt he hope he can live with while cat (his wife) forever. 

One day, he realized his wife stays still and don’t move an inch, realizing her time just came. He cried for the first time ever in million years. He cried night and day and it is finally counted to million times of crying by his wife.

There should be some debate whether this story can be for children or not, but there is a strong message of “Find the important thing to love and love when you can”.  If the children can be at the stage to think such important lesson in their life, this is a great book to introduce.

You can purchase this book here. 広告はこちら


100万回生きたねこ (講談社の創作絵本) [ 佐野 洋子 ]
価格:1540円(税込、送料無料) (2021/11/5時点)

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