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その昔、猫は紐につながれていた?


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現在、猫は家の中なので自由に放し飼いにし、犬は外に出掛けるときは首輪にリードをつけるのが一般的です。

しかし、日本ではその昔、猫は紐につながれ、犬は放し飼いという時代が長く続いていました。

 

猫が日本に入ってきたのは飛鳥時代、中国から仏教とともに経典が伝わった際、鼠の被害を防ぐために一緒にやってきたといわれます。

当時は非常に珍しく、「唐猫」といって天皇や貴族が大切に飼っており、紐につないでいたのです。中には、位を賜ったり、乳母が付いたりする猫もいたとか。

 

また、時代が過ぎ、繁殖して増えた後も、鼠をとる益獣として重宝されており、猫はつないで飼うものという習慣が数百年も続いていたようです。

 

そうした習慣が大きく変わったのが16世紀の終わり、豊臣秀吉の時代です。

洛中で「猫はつないでいけない」という布告が出され、この頃から猫を放し飼いにするようになったとされます。

 

秀吉が天下を取ったので戦さがなくなり、京都など上方では食料をはじめ物資が豊かになってきました。

そのため鼠も大量に発生し、大変な脅威になっていました。そのため、猫を放し、鼠が増えるのを抑えようとしたのが目的だったそうです。

 

ただ、放し飼いにされるようになったといっても、勝手に他人の猫を捕まえたりすると厳しく罰せられたとされます。

人間とペットの関係は、時代とともに大きく変わってきていることが分かります。

※参考:『猫の日本史』桐野作人・編著(洋泉社)

 

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