Onmyōji (陰陽師) was one of the official positions belonging to the Bureau of Onmyō [ja] of the Ministry of the Center under the ritsuryō system in ancient Japan, and was assigned as a technical officer in charge of divination and geomorphology based on the theory of the yin-and-yang five phases. In the middle ages and early modern period, the term was used to refer to those who performed Prayers and divination in the private sector, and some of them were regarded as a kind of clergy.
In history, the most famous Onmyōji was Abe no Seimei (安倍 晴明). He was a legend and there are tons of movies, comics and games created based on him. Even the Japanese figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu (羽生结弦) had once chosen this character to win 2018 The winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.
Idea and sketch
The idea of this painting is actually simple, it would be fun to say “On-Meow-Ji” if there is a cat “On-myō-ji”. Very close. Furthermore, cat is always fighting evil spirits in all kinds of mythology stories. Cat scares away mummy, ghost and so on, especially black cat. So it would be perfect for a black cat to be a guardian of shrine. It would be in the traditional Onmyōji uniform as pictures shown above. I change the outfit a little bit so it looks more reasonable when a cat is moving or jumping around. The sigil on those lanterns is Seimei pentagram. He used it to break evil.
It takes me some extra work to build up layers on cat’s fur and lantern’s texture. Yellow and orange/red oil paint is not covering well so I have to do more layers than usual. I also give the cat a dark red eyeliner so it has more ancient Japanese mysterious creature feeling. 😀
In the end, I hope you find this post interesting.