The song says three is the magic number, but why
The island of Tashirojima lies in the Pacific Ocean off the Oshika Peninsula and it’s home to more cats than the internet could handle. For every ONE person, there are 6 cats. The people of “Cat Island” believe that feeding cats will bring good health and fortune so the cats continue to thrive and reproduce. Here’re a few things to know before you cash in all of those frequent flier miles to go roll around in a cat pile.
Cats Rule, Dogs Drool
Sorry, dog people, this is a strictly no dogs allowed island. Nobody keeps them as pets and travelers are prohibited from bringing them to the island.
Cat Island Is Also Known As a “Terminal Village”
No, this doesn’t mean it’s overrun with disease or cannibals *cough* Terminus *cough*. It simply means that 83% of the population is elderly. This is somewhat of a threat to the island itself. Over 50% of the island’s population is over 65 years old. But in the age of cat fanatics, as proved by the internet, I’m sure the kitties won’t run out of people to feed them. And, there’s always fish. Oh, and there are only 22 people living there now.
You Can Live In A Cat House
If interacting with hundreds of cats a day isn’t enough for you, why not a house shaped like a cat? Manga artist, Shotaro Ishinomori (creator of Cyborg 009 and Himitsu Sentai Gorenger) built several of these cat-shaped buildings.
What’s a cat island without a cat shrine?
The shrine called Neko-jinja, is located in the center of Tashirojima. It was created by a fisherman who, like many, used cats to keep mice from eating silkworms and destroying the silk that they would make. The fishermen began using cats for a variety of things and soon learned to love them. Neko-jinja was built when a cat was killed by a falling rock that the fishermen were trying to collect for their nets. They buried the cat and created the shrine.
Incidently, there are actually 11 shrines (at least) on the island and 51 stone monuments shaped like cats. Clearly as a cat lover, I’m not trying hard enough.
Oh, and there are actually ELEVEN cat islands in Japan
Is this the wrong cat island for you? Try out one of the other 10 islands that are overrun by stray cats. Each island is run basically the same as Tashirojima. Thank god for Japan and their cat love!