Traditional Japanese art form gets an added kitty quotient.

When attending a wedding ceremony in Japan, the guests don’t give the newlyweds presents such as toasters or dinner plates. Instead, they give cash, with 30,000 yen (about US$270) being the norm.

As with many things in Japanese culture, there’s a bit of ceremony involved. Crisp, new bills should be used, and the money is placed in a special envelope called a shugibukuro (like the one pictured above) which is used on auspicious occasions. The outer layer isn’t sealed with glue or other adhesives, but instead is held closed by a mizuhiki, an intricately braided cord made of tightly twisted paper.

While shugibukuro always impart a celebratory feeling, Japanese Twitter @Tukusi37user felt a special joy upon receiving a shugibukuro where the cord was braided not in an abstract pattern, but to form an adorable cat!

The feline shugibukuro is made by Nagano-based mizuhiki workshop Ohashi Tanji, and is unique for more than just its artistic feline appeal. Usually, shuginukuro are made of paper, but Ohashi Tanji’s kitty version is actually a tightly folded towel called a tenugui, which can also be used as a wrapping cloth or for decorative purposes.

▼ The cloth’s pattern, of course, features even more cats.

Because of the material used, recipients of the cat shugibukuro have a reason to hang onto it for years to come. Oh, and don’t worry, the cords on these envelopes are designed to slide off, so the recipient can remove the monetary gift inside without having to say good-bye to the mizuhiki kitty.

Ohashi Tanji offers the cat shugibukuro here through its online store, priced at 864 yen (US$7.85), making it an affordable but extremely memorable way to say congratulations to a friend with a soft spot for cats or a love of Japanese culture, or even as a gift to yourself.

Source: IT Media
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert images: Pakutaso, Ohashi Tanji