Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797–1861) was a Ukiyo-e (woodblocks prints and painting) master. In his series Neko no ateji, cats drawings write the name of fishes by forming kana. This tenugui is the reproduction of 2 of this series’ drawings.
On the first one, the cats form 2 kana : FU and GU, fugu or japanese blowfish. Fugu is a very delicate dish that you can enjoy in Japan during winter time. The fish is cooked in many different ways : sashimi, fried, in hotpot. Apart from its subtle taste Fugu is also known for being highly poisonous and the smallest mistake in the preparation could kill you!.
On the second drawing, the cats from the kana : TA and KO. Tako means octopus and the least we can say is that it has an important place in Japanese food culture as Japanese eat approximately 160,000 tons of octopus every year.
Tenugui is a staple to have. It is found in every japanese household. It can be used as a light towel, dishcloth, as a decoration to display on the wall or can be suspended to cover open shelves.