November 07, 2010

The Cat Which Lived One Million Times. 100万回生きたねこ

Yoko Sano, the author who wrote "The Cat Which Lived One Million Times", one of the most beautiful fantasies, passed away on November 5th.
More than twenty years ago I read this picture book  to my son many times and every time, I was moved as much as my son was. Millions of mothers and children have shared the deep emotion through this book.

The story is the life story of one brindled cat which died and was reborn one million times. He became a cat of a King, a sailor, a magician, a lonely old woman, a little girl and more. Every time he died, the owners cried and cried. But he hadn’t cried at all. He did not like his owners. He liked only  himself very much.

At one time he had no owner, so lived for himself. He boasted about having lived one million times, saying “I am really something!” Although a number of cats badly wanted to be his friends, one white cat didn’t show any interest in him. He became to be interested in her. He stopped bragging and asked her “Can I be with  you?” She said “Yes.” They got  to cuddle always and felt it most important to be together. They had many children and became older. He loved her and their children above all. The children grew up and left the nest. One day she didn’t wake up anymore lying beside him. He cried for the first time  and cried one million times. And he slept beside her and never came to life again.

The story is more than a picture book, deep and inspirational, and surely written for all of us regardless of age. Each of us can make each interpretation. He lived one million times, however was he happy? He lived only one life with her, however he was the happiest. “Can I be with you?” ”Yes.”- This short and simple conversation sank into my heart quietly. This story reminded me of  something warmly cherished.  I want to read this book again at long autumn night.

I'd like to offer my deepest condolences.


  1. We have this book at home. I have never read it. Thanks for the summary. Great story, although I like it for reasons that are perhaps different from yours.

    Great blog design, by the way, although I want to see the sun.

  2. Snowwhite,
    You've made me moved by your summary, and I myself would like to read the story soon. Thanks for this posting.

  3. Marc,

    Thank you for your comment.

    The sun is in your imagination, the rising sun, the setting sun whatever you like.

    >I have never read it.
    Why do you think your reasons are perhaps different from mine? Curious. 

  4. Stardust,

    Thank you for your comment.

    I'd like to read this story to any children if I have chance. I love the pictures too, they are really great.

  5. I haven't read this story yet but I was induced to read it. I am wondering how your litte son took the story as a small kid, if may I ask.

  6. cosmos,

    Thank you for your comment.

    I'm sorry, I don't know how my son took the story. Usually I didn't ask him how he felt or liked the books. He asked me to read the books again and again whenever he liked them. I used to read to my son one book or more everyday.

    When I was a child, I didn't like to write the reports after reading the books as homework. I loved reading books and my favorie place in school was the library. I felt writting reports as homework would make my deep emotion dry.

    Still I'm not good at mentioning my comments on favorite books or movies.

    But, I want to ask my son whether he remember how he felt and took this story.

  7. Your new header is very beautiful.

  8. Thank you,snowwhite, for your answer to my question. I know what you meant. How happy your son was to be allowed to indulge in flights of fancy without any unwanted running remarks.

    Your pictures are all very appealing.

  9. redrose,

    Thank you for your comment.

    The setting sun cast a soft light over the tree. I liked this scene very much.

  10. cosmos,

    Thank you for your comment to my pictures.

    It is so rapidly getting colder at night that the leaves are rapidly turning red, orange, gold and more. They hasten my mind.

  11. Hi, again.
    I read this story book. I was impressed by its meaningful and insightful idea about fundamental things like what is life or love, where our lives are from or how to live through the life of an arrogant but attractive and enlightened cat.

    I knew the book only by the title but thank you for introducing it here.

  12. cosmos,

    I'm very glad to hear that.

    One of my friends said this book was philosophical.

    Do you think this book has been translated in any languages?

  13. I had no idea but now that you mentioned, I checked on the net. There seems English versions, however I don't know if they're still available. Here

  14. cosmos,

    Thank you for your information.

    I checked in Amazon. The secondhand books in English are sold in Amazon at the prices from 14833 yen to 26792 yen.

    sigh, sigh, sigh・・・・・


Thanks a lot for visiting my blog and leaving warm messages. I will visit your site soon. keiko