Tashirojima is a small island in Ishinomaki, Miyagi, Japan, which lies in the Pacific Ocean off the Oshika Peninsula, to the west of Ajishima. An army of cats rules the remote island curling up in abandoned houses or strutting about in a fishing village that is overrun with felines outnumbering humans 6 to 1.
This also known as “Cat Island” has long been thought by the locals to represent luck and good fortune. The island is also known as Manga Island, as Shotaro Ishinomori built manga-related buildings on the island, resembling a cat. If you take care of them and feed them well, and treated them like kings or pets will bring wealth and good fortune.
So, it is not an accident that the cats that inhabit have come to be the island’s primary residents, and most are feral because keeping them as “pets” is generally considered inappropriate; they’re well-fed and cared for. In 2012, the BBC in the United Kingdom presented a short television series called Pets “Wild at Heart”, which features the behaviors of pets, including the cats on the Tashirojima island.
Moreover, in the last 60 years or so, the human population of the Tashirojima island has significantly decreased from a few hundred to thousands. The cat population is now larger than the human population on the island. The number of inhabitants has shunned the island as it became dominated by felines.
The populations which have left have become more protective of the cats. Moreover another interesting that, dogs are not allowed here just to protect cats’ well beings and apparently any dog foolish enough to venture onto an island full of feral cats. Due to cats, the island has become a popular attraction for curious travelers. In 2011, the famous Tohoku tsunami has damaged the island, but the feline population has become survived and is intact and self-belief, and the Tashirojima island wasn’t destroyed due to cats’ luck.
In the Period of Edo in Japan, the much of island raised silkworms for their textile needs and they use to kept cats to chase the mice away from their precious silkworms in order to keep the mouse population down because mice are a natural predator of silkworms. Moreover, there’s a small shrine known as Neko-jinja in the middle of the island.
Hence, there are at least 10 cat shrines in Miyagi Prefecture, and are also 51 stone monuments in the shape of cats, which is a strangely high number, compared to the other prefectures. Therefore, these shrines and monuments are concentrated in the southern area of the island, overlapping with the regions where silkworms were raised.
As a result, cat lovers come to the Tashirojima island, and package tours exactly to “look for Jack” are now available. Thus, Cat photographs contests and exhibitions are now held on the island.