Portraits of Tokyo’s Stray Cats by Masayuki Oki

Busanyan by Masayuki Oki (1)

When Masayuki Oki calls the cats he photographs busanyan, he means it in the most affectionate way. Literally “ugly cat,” Oki is a master at catching the stray cats of Tokyo making funny faces, napping and even sometimes fighting. But whatever they’re doing when Oki snaps his shutter, each is imbued with character and personality that is instantly relatable.

Busanyan by Masayuki Oki (2)

Busanyan by Masayuki Oki (3)

the characters ぶ and さ spells busa, short for busaiku (which means ‘ugly’)

There is definitely no shortage of cat photographers. But for some reason Oki’s photographs of street cats stand out in a way that others don’t. “I want to travel the country photographing all of Japan’s lovely stray cats,” says the photographer. But for now, he’s compiled a series of photos of strays in Tokyo’s shitamachi and released a photobook called busanyan.

Oki doesn’t reveal the exact location of his shots and shitamachi can be a vague area, defined more by culture and identity rather than clear boundaries. But as the name implies – literally “low city” – shitamachi is traditionally the physically low part of the city, east of the Sumida river. But even without knowing the exact location, you can still follow along with Oki and the adventures of the stray cats on instagram.

Busanyan by Masayuki Oki (6)

Busanyan by Masayuki Oki (10)

Busanyan by Masayuki Oki (9)

Busanyan by Masayuki Oki (8)  Busanyan by Masayuki Oki (4)

1 Comment

  1. I like pet lover’s and I have respect for the kind heart of love on the pet animals.

    We having our own animals shelter which was runner by my great mentor FATHAR. Who scarificed his Indian Air Force job & life for the poor stray animals for past 15years with any INDIAN GOVERNMENT help & finally passed away without doing anything for him self.

    Now my mom she is taking care of the same service for the poor stray animals by feeding foods for them every day in rainy season also.

    I really missed my FATHER & Scream for him inner of my heart.

    Love you my Dad & Love you my mom for continuing Dad service.


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