Ten Amazing Facts About Tashirojima: The Cat Island

Welcome to the enchanting world of Tashirojima, a small island off the coast of Japan that’s a paradise for cat lovers and curious travelers alike. Often dubbed “Cat Island,” Tashirojima is not just a whimsical nickname; it’s a fitting description for a place where cats famously outnumber humans. This idyllic spot has captivated the hearts of many, drawing visitors from around the globe who come to experience its unique charm. In this post, we will explore ten amazing facts about Tashirojima that make it a truly remarkable destination. From its historical ties with felines to the cultural beliefs that keep these creatures thriving, prepare to be amazed by the secrets of this feline utopia along with some pictures of the island to enjoy as well…

Cats of Cat Island

10 – “This is our Island bro, there is nothing for you here.”

FACT: Is located in Ishinomaki, Miyagi, Japan and is home to just 100 people, but of those 100 83% of them are over 65 yrs old and classified as elderly!

Cats of Cat Island

9 – The new Islanders start to settle in

FACT: The ever-increasing stray cat population thrives because local belief says that feeding and looking after the cats it will bring wealth and good fortune to the whole Island!

Cats of Cat Island

8 – “We heard you might be milking a cow here!”

FACT: Not only is there no pet dogs, it is Island law and basically prohibited to bring dogs onto the island! I would not like to see any dog against all those cats anyway!

Cats of Cat Island

7 – “Sssooo….been fishing eh! And you have caught something as well! Cool.”

FACT: There is an actual cat shrine, known as Neko-jinja the middle of the island where people take injured animals to die and pray for the ones that are still alive.

Cats of Cat Island

6 – “Sorry to bother you, but are those scraps of fish? Please say yes!”

FACT: So just how many cats live on cat Island?!? Well, it is thought that the cat population is 4 times more than the human population on the island, so about 400+ in the answer! It doesn’t sound like a lot but considering the small size of the Island, it is rather a lot indeed!

Cats of Cat Island

5 – “We noticed you popped into the fish ‘n’ chip shop, you know that stuff is fattening!”

FACT: It seems that there might be something in the “cats bring luck” thought path, because in 2011 when Japan was hit with a historic 9.0 magnitude earthquake not one building on the Island was damaged in any way! Not a window cracked, not a tile out-of-place!

Cats of Cat Island

4 – “Any loose change for kitty nibbles sir?”

FACT: Tourism has been picking up as the island has become an attraction for curious travellers, and now it brings in almost 100,000 times the amount of earnings that the silk making business did! The marketing power of cats.

Cats of Cat Island

3 – The local hangout.

FACT: There is a total of 51 stone monuments in the shape of cats on the Island and tourists are given a prize for locating all of them!

Cats of Cat Island

2 – The Village Elder

FACT: The cats of cat island might well be wild animals, but they have all grown to trust us humans and while they are not the pickup and cuddle kind of cat, most of them are happy to let you stroke and rub them.

Cats of Cat Island

1 – “Quick gather round, he is a Photographer with Caturday Weekly!”

FACT: So why so many cats? Well in the Islands past they raised silkworms for silk, but mice are a natural predator of silkworms and the whole island was soon overrun with mice. So they brought in some pet cats to kept the mouse population down. Soon there were no mice at all, just thousands of cats!

Author: Gus Barge

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