God gets a bit more catty

God gets a bit more catty

Some clever graffiti writers morph Japanese Christian placards into a slightly more feline set of moral codes
Japanese Christian cat signs
This sign states "Repent to the cat." We're pretty sure it used to be some manner of Bible quote.

Less than 1 percent of the Japanese population is Christian, yet Japan is covered with mysterious black placards featuring stern Bible quotes telling us to repent. For anyone who has not seen them around Tokyo, there is an online collection of the signs here.

Mutant Frog Travelogue traced the phenomenon to the missionary group Bible Distribution Cooperation Society -- a Miyagi-based organization who apparently try to convert the Tokyo masses with loud sound-trucks. 

This rare display of religious zeal in Japan has now collided with another rare act in this lawful nation: graffiti. Some party has been reworking the Christian signs so that the character for God (神, "kami") turns into the katakana spelling of cat (ネコ, "neko"). This is a simple operation, as the left radical of the God character is a katakana "ne."

Alfalfa Mosaic has collected pictures of four cat-scratched signs. Post-alteration, "The Lord judges immorality and adultery" becomes "The cat judges immorality and adultery." And "The kingdom of the Lord draws near" becomes "The kingdom of the cat draws near."

With a stroke of a white paint pen, fire and brimstone become totally adorable. But, hey, the graffiti writers are just doing their god's work. If Japan has a national religion, it's clearly "kawaii."