Abandoned Cat Island Japan: Visit to Aoshima

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Harbor of Tashirojima.Author: Sayoko Shimoyama CC BY 2.0

Tashirojima, a small inhabited island in the Japanese Prefecture of Miyagi, is called. It is located west of Ajishima in the Pacific Ocean, off the Oshika Peninsula. The island has only 100 inhabitants, most of whom are over 65.

Aoshima Island, one of Japan’s “cat islands”, is home to about 100 cats. These small islands are home to far more felines than humans. Aoshima Island is home to more than 100 cats. They can be found wandering the streets of the peaceful fishing village or curling up in abandoned homes.

Six to one cats are found on the island. The island of Aoshima, which is small and only inhabited by cats, has experienced a rise in tourists visiting it online.

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Aoshima, a.k.a. cat island, off the coast of Japan.
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Semi-feral cats are cats that are used to people. They love to interact with people and there is even an area for them to eat near the community center.

Japan treats cats differently. It is worth noting, however, that the paper that reported on the cat islands in Australia and the United States also expressed concern about the extinction of the cat population on these islands.

Abandoned Cat Island Japan
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How did this isolated island become infested by cats?

Believe it or not Aoshima isn’t the only one; Japan actually has ten islands that are home to felines.

In order to reduce rodent population, fishermen brought stray animals to the islands. Since there are no predators known, cats have reproduced naturally.

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Abandoned Cat Island Japan
In 1945, Aoshima was a vibrant fishing community of 900. Now, cats outnumber human residents 10 to one.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Locals also overfeed cats, especially the elderly on the islands. This is in an effort to make human contact with the animals. They can be blamed, however, by cat lovers.

Japan isn’t the only country that has a lot of cat islands. The United States was home to at least 18 cat islands while Australia had fifteen at the time. Tashirojima is located just a few kilometers from Japan’s east coast. It is known as “Cat Island”, because the cats outnumber the humans by an approximate 6 to 1 ratio.

Kanon_7/Flickr| Abandoned Cat Island Japan
Kanon_7/Flickr

This is undoubtedly one the most bizarre and abandoned places you could visit. The island is visited by many tourists each year.

Japanese culture believes cats bring luck. Residents and tourists alike can enjoy the chance to be engulfed by a host of lucky charms when they visit Tashirojima each year. Sayoko Shimoyama is its author. License: CC BY 2.0

Much of Japan’s Edo Period was dedicated to raising silkworms for textiles. Because cats are known rodent predators, residents began to breed and nurture cats.

Abandoned Cat Island Japan
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Because of the strong belief in their ability to bring wealth and luck, they were not neutered. As a result, their population has declined from 1000 in the 1950s down to 100 today.

According to some reports, the island suffered severe damage when the Tsunami struck Japan’s coastlines in 2011. Although the cat population seems to have been relatively unharmed, younger people or those still living on the island seem to have fled.

There have been programs to spay and neuter the existing cats.

The island is now considered terminal because it has no youth or elderly residents. Oodomari, Nitoda and Nitoda are fighting for their survival.

Tashirojima has become more about a sanctuary for cats to be rescued or worshipped, than a home where humans can live. Anyone who visits and plans to stay there for a long time is safe. Shotaro Ishinomori, a prominent and well-known Japanese manga and anime artist, planned to move to the island. Tashirojima has become known as the Manga Island.

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There are several manga-themed cat shrines and cat lodges on the island. Also, new cat-shaped cabins that tourists can rent.

With 83 percent of the population being elderly and 50% of them over 65, most of those living on the island do not have any other activities than to feed the cats or welcome visitors. Dogs are not allowed.

Read another Article from us: Brendon Grimshaw: An 87 Years Old Real life Robinson Crusoe lives on Moyenne Island once Abandoned.

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