The Nekojasuri History

With the industrialization of Japan and the post-World War II reconstruction period in Hiroshima, Wataoka’s file making had reached the point where it was said to have a 95% share of the file market. Wataoka’s predecessors, who were master swordsmiths, began making double-edged files in order to keep up with the changing trends of Japan.

Wataoka Co., Ltd. is a small file manufacturer located in Kure City, Hiroshima Japan. At the end of the Edo period (the 1800s), Tomohei Wataoka began manufacturing files with the file manufacturing technology he brought back from Osaka.

In the 1890s, a naval arsenal was established in Kure City, Hiroshima Prefecture, and many craftsmen’s skills were fostered as shipbuilding and steel-making technologies and Western-style machinery were introduced. With such a large consumption center nearby, Nigata greatly developed as a local production center for a wide variety of files as they are used by craftsmen for work and care of tools. Today, Nigata is a major production center, accounting for more than 90% of domestic production.

The Nekojasuri History; Birth of The Nekojasuri

The Nekojasuri began as a simple metal file which the inventor’s cat Guga seemed to love, shown here.

Guga hated to be brushed and disliked being hugged or cuddled, making it difficult to communicate with him. However, he absolutely loves the effect of a Nekojasuri. It has come to the point where he comes close to the original designer and asks to be loved.

When Mrs. Wataoka tested the file as a brush on our her Guga, he clearly responded pleasantly, and we thought, “perhaps because it resembles the feel of a cat’s tongue,” so they made a series of prototypes, and “Nekojasuri” was completed.

The Nekojasuri is simple to use. Use it as if you are stroking the skin, not the surface of the hair. Stroke with just enough force to make the cat feel comfortable. The fine file surface allows stroking from any direction. The wide part of the file can be used on the back, stomach, and sides. The narrow part is perfect for the head, chin, and neck area. After use, it can be washed with water to keep it clean.

The secret of cats’ fascination is the fine file surface and extremely tiny “teeth” which closely imitate a cats’ rough tongue, which came to be through the technology of Wataoka, the Patent owner. The rough surface of cats’ tongues serves as a brush (grooming) to remove hair. The act of grooming has a relaxing effect on the cat, and it also creates communication between cats. “Nekojasuri” is not intended for serious grooming, but like a cat’s tongue, it can be used as a communication tool.

Nekojasuri logo

The Nekojasuri History; The Nekojasuri Logo

The Maneki Neko, or “Beckoning Cat,” is a traditional Japanese figurine that is often displayed in businesses, shops, and homes as a symbol of good luck and prosperity.

The origin of the Maneki Neko is not entirely clear, but it is believed to have originated during the Edo period (1603-1868) in Japan. There are various legends surrounding the cat, but the most popular one tells the story of a poor shopkeeper who took in a stray cat. The cat would sit outside the shop and raise its paw to beckon customers inside. Soon after, the shop became prosperous, and the cat became a symbol of good luck and fortune.

The three parts of the Tsubo (earthenware pot) are:


The Tsubo represents the miso jar, as miso was used in the process of manufacturing files.

When the production of double-edged files started [from the early Meiji period to the middle of the Meiji era], the mark of Yama (mountain) was added to the names such as Yamasa, Yamaki, and Yamaichi.

Eijiro Son of Kasaku Wataoka, who was a master swordsmith, seems to have started full-scale factory production, and used the initial “E”.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness.

– Oscar Wilde.

Well, we don’t necessarily agree, and constantly work to weed out fake infringements of the Nekojasuri Patent. Most of the counterfeits come our of China, and some from Korea.

Unfortunately, the unknowing customer may try the cheaper knock-offs, and they will assume our Nekojasuri is the same. Other manufacturers cannot replicate certain parts of the real Nekojasuri. Beware of cheap imitations! They will not work and your cat will not react as shown here.


The real Nekojasuri has its logo engraved on the back.

The beautiful Japanese style packaging on the bottom clearly shows both logos on the Nekojasuri box.

Hidden amongst the tiny “teeth” is the stamped “Made In Japan”.

These points will all show you if the product is indeed The Nekojasuri.

The Nekojasuri was Design Patented in 2018.

The first Nekojasuri videos appeared on YouTube in Japan in May, 2018.

First published sales of The Nekojasuri were in Amazon Japan, from July 2019.

The Nekojasuri is Trademarked in Asia and the United States.

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