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Number of Cats as Pets Exceeds Dogs in Japan (News)

Tokyo, Dec. 22 (Jiji Press)—A pet food industry survey showed that the estimated number of cats kept as pets in Japan exceeded dogs in 2017 for the first time since the survey began in 1994. The Japan Pet Food Association published the results of the latest survey on December 22, ahead of the Year of the Dog in the 12-year Chinese zodiac cycle next year. According to this year's survey, the …

Do the Cat Dance: A Growing Tradition Attracts 20,000 “Purrformers” (Japan in Photos)

Performers with feline ears and whiskers take part in a cat dance in Kannami, Shizuoka Prefecture on October 9, 2017. The celebration, based on a local legend, has been running for 30 years. The dance took place in the town’s central shopping area for the first time and drew an estimated 20,000 participants. (© Jiji)

Feline Fatale: A Look at Japan’s Growing Cat ManiaKita Yōsuke

Cats are royalty in Japan. Each month a slew of new feline-themed books, toys, and other goods hit store shelves, suggesting that the country’s obsession with the cuddly animals is here to stay. Social media has also become a lively gathering point for cat fans, including proud owners who post pictures and videos of their whiskered charges. Economist and hopeless cat lover Kita Yōsuke looks at how the mousers have taken over.

An Old Woman and Her Russian CatAlexander N. Meshcheryakov

Among my friends is an elderly Japanese woman. Some time ago, her daughter married a Russian man and moved to Moscow, but sadly she fell ill and died. That is why the woman came to Russia often—to visit her daughter’s grave. She made many friends during her stay, and I was one of them. She visited my house and stroked my cat. The woman, I must say, is a true “cat lady.” She once told me, though…

One Man and His Cats in Fukushima (Photos)Ota Yasusuke (Photographs)

Matsumura Naoto has been looking after all kinds of abandoned animals in Fukushima since residents evacuated following the disaster of March 11, 2011. In 2013, he adopted two kittens that have become his constant companions. Photographer Ota Yasusuke captures their everyday antics in a series of lively images.

Going to the Dogs and Cats: Two of Japan’s Favorite PetsNippon.com Staff

Just like other people all around the world, many Japanese have plenty of reasons for wanting a pet, including a desire for companionship and a love of animals. Even while busy schedules, expense, and space restraints in crowded cities such as Tokyo present considerable hurdles to ownership, many residents manage to find space in their homes and hearts to keep a furry comrade. And while this comra…

Fill Your Phone with Cats: “Nekoatsume”James Singleton

Mobile gaming is one of the few bright spots in Japan’s IT sphere. One of the bigger―and certainly the most adorable―hits to appear this year is Nekoatsume. The title, which can be loosely translated as “gathering cats,” sums up the entire game. Players place various items around a virtual garden to entice a cast of adorable feline callers and then check into the app periodically to watch them go …

Five Famous AnimalsNippon.com Staff

There is a diverse range of wildlife across Japan’s great geographical sweep, from brown bears and white-tailed eagles in Hokkaidō to coconut crabs and habu snakes in Okinawa. Foxes and tanuki are famous in legends as magical animals, while the bathing monkeys of Nagano Prefecture have carved out a more recent name for themselves. But beyond the species level, there are also individual creatures t…

Fortune Beckons: Japan’s Lucky Cat FigurinesRichard Medhurst

One cat with its paw up beckoning you forward can be cute. When you’re up against a whole army, though, it’s disconcerting. These cats, known as manekineko, are said to bring good fortune and are a common sight in Japan at the entrance to shops and restaurants. They come in many different varieties, which is one reason why it’s unsettling to find a uniform group differentiated only by size. It’…

Cat Island: Felines Outnumber People 10-to-1 at This Tourist AttractionPaul Warham

A fishing boat on the tranquil waters of the Inland Sea (Seto Naikai). It may be hard to imagine when you’re being packed into a crowded Tokyo subway train or fighting your way through the Friday night crowds in downtown Osaka or Hiroshima, but in many parts of Japan the biggest population problem is not that there are too many people but that there are too few. In some parts of rural Japan…

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