Where Every Day is Caturday

…on Tashirojima, or “Cat Island”, in Japan (natch).


It all started way back when mice ate the silkworms being raised to make silk, so the farmers brought in a few cats.


Then, fishermen noticed they were able to make weather forecasts based on the cat’s behavior and considered cats good luck.


The cat population is now larger than the human population (around 100 peeps, number of kittehs unknown) on the island.


The human residents of Cat Island have a special reverence for cats, as you can see from their Island Shrine…


…and architecture

P1050050
And apparently Mother Nature does too because, though it could have been a (coff)cat-astrophe(coff), all the cats are safe after the recent earthquake and tsunami.


In Japan, cats really do bring good fortune!


Thanks to alert reader Josh N. for pointing out this place exists. Cat Island Facts and Hover-factoids by Wikipedia. Kittens out and about and on the pier at the beginning and end of the post are by Yugoroyd. Cat Shrine images via Tofugu TV. Purrfect architecture by Hirano Sui and Yugoroyd. Want more? Visit the Japanese blog about island fishing and daily life. Hai!

Comments

  1. I’ll make a note for when I visit Japan.

  2. Marianne Hauger says:

    Take. Me. There.

  3. Shouldn’t that be neko no shima, or is that just its nickname. Being litterally cat island in japanese.

  4. Yet another Island of Cats (and Kittens), slightly closer to the U.S. :-)

  5. Awwwwwwwwwwwwwww!

  6. wow. that is so awesome! now that’s an ethos i can definitely buy into.

  7. victoreia says:

    They’re so teeeeeeny! [girlish squee]

  8. ashagato says:

    i wanna live there!

  9. Chinchillazilla says:

    When can I move into one of those little cat houses?

  10. Mary (the first) says:

    I could be happy there except for the lack of restaurants, plus, I don’t know Japanese :(

  11. Just an adorable way to live! (I’d miss my pup tho) Kitteh in the lap, dog at the feet :)

  12. When I go to Japan, I will be going there and I will take tons of cat food with me to treat these holy creatures to some western treats. haha!

  13. Fird Birfle says:

    (in voice of Violet Beauregarde, from the
    Gene Wilder Charlie/ Chocolate Factory film)

    “I want to go there N-O-O-O-O-W, Dadddddddyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!1111!!!!”

  14. I could take a vacation there.

  15. I really really really want a house in the shape of a cat!

  16. kawaii!! =^.^=

  17. bob drummond says:

    !HAI ! That is soooo NEKO !

  18. cyberpunkrocker says:

    I’m SO moving in there when I retire someday – would probably die of hunger there, though, being allergic to fish… (Or die because of the amount of Qte :) )

  19. bob drummond says:

    My advice would be to learn Japanese very fast and take up stir frying as a hobby.

  20. bob drummond says:

    First you will have to pass thru customs with the cat food- not a simple task !

  21. bob drummond says:

    A very good idea-someday ! Maybe I’ll meet you there too.

  22. Well, I know where I want to move too!!!

  23. Alice Shortcake says:

    *smashes piggy bank in the hope of finding air fare to Japan*

    *is disappointed*

    *pops out to buy new piggy bank*

  24. riCh chestMat says:

    Those cats are not safe after the quake. Only a couple of days ago it came out that they aren’t being fed properly. The fishermen who live there used to feed them scraps and tiny fish but are unable to do their usual job. Currently the cats are relying on donations of tinned cat food and are asking for help.

    Here’s some more info about it: http://www.japanprobe.com/2011/06/11/cat-island-seeks-disaster-relief-donations/

  25. grammatoanna says:

    How neat that a place like this exists in this world. Looks so serene, like everyone is at peace living there. I SO want to go! Love the architecture and those cats! Too cute.

  26. defaultlisa says:

    Wrong character– that was Veruca Salt. Right idea.

  27. …I want to go to there…

  28. Barreleh says:

    Can we go?

    Huh?

    Huh?

    I wanna go? Can we go?

    Please??

  29. I want a cat-shaped house, too!!!!

  30. stephanie says:

    Please let me live there!

  31. How about buying some cat food there and taking it to that island :D That is what I would do if I could go there :D

  32. Travel note: not a popular stop-over for songbirds.

  33. bob drummond says:

    What would you expect on an island named for its population of kitties?
    If I were a bird I’d stay away from that place. I’m no Bird Brain !!!

  34. Fird Birfle says:

    oops. gah. thanks for correct data!

  35. Denise A. says:

    Cats have always been lucky for merchants in Japan. Have you ever seen the cat-with-a-paw-up-by-its face statues? They’re called “maneki-neko” (“beckoning cat”) statues. In Japan (and elsewhere in Asia, I think), the gesture for beckoning someone is overhand, rather than underhand, like ours. When a cat lifts its paw to rub its face, it resembles the gesture for calling someone to come (into your shop, for example). That’s why just about every shop or restaurant you see in Japan has a maneki-neko statue outside or in the window.

  36. Fleurdamour says:

    It’s Cat Lady Paradise!

  37. fatgrammafinn says:

    if you all get the chance, read “The Cat Who Went To Heaven”, by Elizabeth Coatsworth. Buy a couple of hankies first.

  38. I wonder if this is going to turn out to be one of those place where people live really long lives, like Okinawa.. Now that would be a great endorsement for cats!

  39. This island was devastated by the recent earthquake and tsunami and cats need help:

    http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T110609003573.htm

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