Of Course Japan Has an Island Where Cats Outnumber People

By Chris Mills on at

This short film documents life on Tashirojima, a tiny island off the Oshika Peninsula in Japan. It’s home to 800 cat overlords, and the 100 or so humans who slavishly feed their feral masters.

Cats were originally brought onto the island to control the mouse population, who fed on silkworms and threatened the fishing industry that supports the two villages on Tashirojima. But, according to folklore, the fishermen grew a fondness for the cats, and when one of them was killed, they enshrined it — starting a tradition that’s resulted in cat shrines and monuments all over the island, in addition to the high feline population.

The 10-minute film is a teaser of an hour-long documentary coming out sometime soon. I’m not sure if 60 minutes will be enough for me to decide whether these cats are very cute, or extremely creepy. [My Modern Met]