The Island in Japan Where Cats Outnumber People

Kamie Berry | June 3rd, 2017

Cat lovers of the world, rejoice! There is a special island in Japan where all your feline dreams can come true. On the island of Tashirojima, there are more cats than people, and it is expected to remain that way for the foreseeable future.

Cats are considered good luck by many in Japanese society, and it also helps that they are excellent for keeping rodent populations down. In the Edo Period, which ran from the 17th to the mid-19th centuries, many people on the island raised silkworms. They brought in cats to keep mice away from these valuable creatures. The felines were allowed to breed unrestricted, so their population exploded over the centuries. At the same time, the number of humans on Tashirojima fell to below 100. Now, cats outnumber humans by a ratio of 6 to 1.

pinimg.com

The cats are treated like royalty because caring for them is believed to bring good luck. Residents even claim that the felines’ presence protected the island from being utterly destroyed in the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami of 2011. However, they are rarely kept as pets, as this is not considered appropriate. So, the cats are free to roam the island at will. The residents of Tashirojima are very protective of the cats, and dogs are not allowed onto the island.

There are other things to see on the island besides feral felines. Tashirojima is also known as Manga Island, because a prominent manga artist once planned to move there. There are manga-themed vacation rentals available that are, of course, shaped like cats.

There is also a cat shrine located there. It was built when a large rock fell on one of the cats, killing it. Some fisherman on the island, who also appreciated the felines’ usefulness, felt bad for the poor animal and buried it. They then built the shrine to mark its place of burial.

The cats are now a major source of income for residents of Tashirojima, as thousands of cat-loving visitors now flock to the island annually. Altogether, there are about a dozen different “cat islands” in Japan, though Tashirojima is one of the most popular. Japan may truly be a cat-lover’s paradise.

Next Article
  • The World’s First Cyborg Artist

    Neil Harbisson is the world’s first cyborg that is an artist, thanks to an antenna that has been implanted into his skull. Harbisson is able to paint sounds and hear images due to this antenna. This allows him to make statements such as ringtones are green and that a certain artist may be red or...

    Read More
  • The Micro-particles That Allow You To Live Without Breathing

    Scientists at the Boston Children’s Hospital have made a medical breakthrough that may enable people to stay underwater for over twenty minutes or more. This is the type of medical breakthrough that could reshape the whole world of surfing. Surfers would be much safer knowing that if they run into difficulty they would be able...

    Read More
  • Figs Are Actually Considered An Animal Product

    When it comes to the list of foods that are non-vegan, the list can actually be a lot larger than you may think. Some fruits and vegetables even end up on the non-vegan list. Vegans always have to be on the lookout for products that they may mistakenly think are safe and accidentally end up...

    Read More
  • The Exiled Bell

    Yes, an object can actually be tried and exiled. Which is exactly what happened back in 1584, when Ivan the Terrible died and left his two sons behind Fyodor and Dimitri. Now Fyodor was actually mentally handicapped, and Dimitri was just an infant. This meant that Dimitri became the next czar. ...

    Read More
  • The Japanese Art Of Synchronized Walking

    Yup you read the title correctly, in Japan synchronized walking is a real sport and it's actually pretty nuts. For the same baffling and strange reasons that the Japanese do many things we find bizarre, they have been competing in a competition around synchronized precision team walking since 1966. In...

    Read More
  • A Museum Of Non Visible Art

    In an art project that looks as ridiculous as it sounds, the museum of non-visible art seems to be bringing over people from all over the world. For anyone looking at it from a logical point of view, it looks like an elaborate internet scam. In fact, selling fresh air sounds like the type of...

    Read More
  • The Cornfield Bomber

    Unpiloted aircraft that fly off on their own is actually not a myth, mistakes do happen on the tarmac and sometimes pilots forget to turn off the throttle. In most cases, the unguided planes shoot across an airport until they crash into a line of light planes, a hangar or some parked cars. But on...

    Read More