“The History of Japan’s Cat-Dominated Islands”


Among the well-known aspects of Japan are the Rabbit Cafes in Tokyo that attract animals and tourists, and the tame deer that roam the streets of Nara. Jigokudani laughs at the Snow Monkeys. Also, one of the factors that make Japan famous is giving jobs to cats. For example, making cats the Lord of the Castle, appointing managers of Train Stations, and attracting the interest of tourists. The most interesting of all of these is the cat islands in Japan called “Neko-Shima”.


The audience must have seen and read it. There are only big cats on the whole island. Aoshima is the most famous cat island. There are many islands along the coast of Japan. Tashiro-jima is the second most famous cat island.

The islands known as “Cat Islands” (Neko-Shima).

  • 1. Okishima (Shiga Prefecture)
  • 2. Sanagishima (Kagawa Prefecture)
  • 3. Aoshima (Ehime Prefecture)
  • 4. Muzukijima (Ehime Prefecture)
  • 5. Manabeshima (Okayama Prefecture)
  • 6. Iwaishima (Yamaguchi Prefecture)
  • 7. Aijima (Fukuoka Prefecture)
  • 8. Aishima (Fukuoka Prefecture)
  • 9. Genkaishima (Fukuoka Prefecture)
  • 10. Kadarashima (Saga Prefecture)
  • 11. Tashiro-jima (Miyagi Prefecture)

How did so many cats get to these islands with so few people and so many cats?

The history of how these cats arrived on the islands varies from place to place. Many stories say that they came from the rat problem, and some are legends. They start the story from history.

Cats crowd the harbour embankment on Aoshima Island in Ehime prefecture in southern Japan February 25, 2015. An army of cats rules the remote island in southern Japan, curling up in abandoned houses or strutting about in a fishing village that is overrun with felines outnumbering humans six to one. Picture taken February 25, 2015. To match story JAPAN-CATS/ REUTERS/Thomas Peter (JAPAN – Tags: SOCIETY ANIMALS TRAVEL)

Speaking of Aoshima, back in the 1900s, Aoshima was a great place for fishing. At that time, fishermen had a series of problems with rats getting into their boats. That’s why cats were bred to fight rats. As time went by, the cats they raised spread around the animal island and multiplied until they grew in number.

The history of the arrival of the cats of Tashiro-jima Island. In the past, the island of Tashiro-jima was used to breed silkworms called silkworms. When the worm is there, the mouse will come automatically. That’s why we started breeding cats to prevent rats from breeding. Unfortunately, the number of cats has increased.

There is no specific story as to why there are so many cats on Genakaishima Island, which used to be the largest cat island. However, in 2005, many parts of the island were affected by the earthquake, but the number of cats is still high.

In the legend of Kadarashima Island, a dog once disobeyed his master’s orders. So he unleashed his wrath on all the dogs at Yasakajinja Shrine on the island. Shrine’s anger drove the entire dog breed off the island. That’s why there are only cats on the island of Kadarashima today, and it’s a sanctuary for cats.

In the past, I have already reported on the islands where there are many cats in Japan, but if you don’t know where and how these cats came from, I think this article will give you some insight.

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