Japanese Masayuki Oki is not your usual street photographer. Instead of photographing urban landscapes, street style, or architecture, his lens targets the cute little wanderers of Tokyo. Armed with a Canon EOS-1D X, Masayuki follows the footsteps of stray cats in a mission to document all the street felines of the world.
Masayuki’s photography has attracted a solid fanbase with 199k followers on his Instagram account. Every day, he shares a snap of streetwise meowsers goofing around, chilling out, sometimes fighting, other times embracing each other in what seems to be a whole new and exciting world.
So get ready for the heart-melting stray cat collection from the land of the rising sun, which will fill your heart with the warmth we all need these days. And after you’re done, be sure to check out more of Masayuki Oki’s pictures in our previous post right here.
To find out more about the photographer behind Tokyo’s stray cat photographs, Bored Panda reached out to Masayuki Oki. Masayuki, who originally comes from Kobe, now resides in Tokyo, where he spends days (and sometimes, nights) looking for streetwise felines to photograph.It all started in 2013 when Masayuki was having a break from his job.
“I was taking a break in the park near my office. I got fascinated by one cat there, and I started photographing all the felines in that park. Then, I decided to post my pictures on Instagram and 7 years later, I still love doing this.”
Masayuki has been traveling everywhere he could, from Tokyo to Houghton in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Istanbul to take pictures of stray cats. Corona has slowed down his traveling, but he is excited to resume his mission of photographing street cats around the globe as soon as the pandemic is over.
Today, Masayuki has already made himself a name after publishing 10 commercial photo books, appearing on various Japanese magazines and television. “I'm not very good at photos other than cats,” he joked. “I also think that cats are simply very photogenic,” Masayuki added.
“Until I held the camera, I had the stereotype that cats were cool, sleeping all day long, and didn't care about their surroundings.” However, that all changed when Masayuki started taking pictures of them.
“I realized these cats had complex emotions, expressions, and gestures. I also discovered that cats have complex relationships just like humans, and that each cat has their own identity.”
This moment when you understand and appreciate the personality of every cat you’re looking at is something special for the stray cat photographer. “My desire to capture them on camera with all these crazy facial expressions and emotions is the driving force of my photographs.”
Masayuki also said he’s very happy to have people from all over the world praising his pictures in the comments on his Instagram account. “I want to make all the cat lovers of this world happy with my photos,” he concluded.