Tashirojima (田代島) is a small, rural island off the coast of central Ishinomaki City in Miyagi Prefecture. Informally known as “Cat Island”, Tashirojima is inhabited by several hundred felines, which are cared for and worshiped by fews old fishermen . The cats were originally brought over to help with pest control around the island’s silkworm farms, and since then their numbers have increased to the point that they now outnumber the island’s aging human population
Since 83% of the population is classified as elderly, the island’s villages have been designated as a “terminal village” (限界集落 genkai-shūraku) which means that with 50% or more of the population being over 65 years of age, the survival of the village is threatened.[
The population built the small, cat-sized Cat Shrine (Nekokamisama), at the center of the island in dedication to a cat that was accidentally killed by a falling rock.
Tashirojima is also known as “Manga Island”, due to a manga themed camping resort built on the southern tip of the island.
The resort consists of several cottages shaped like cats that feature cat themed artwork drawn by famous manga artists such as Ishinomori Shotaro, Chiba Tetsuya and Kimura Naomi