Japan is known for having a unique culture that perfectly balances two extreme worlds of tradition and fun. From cat cafes to cosplay-clad posers in Harajuku, it’s the light-hearted, anything-goes attitude on the streets of Tokyo that brightens the serious, traditional side of society which likes to rein in anything different and out of the norm.
It’s little surprise then, that people have been drawn to one of the newcomers to the street scene in Tokyo, a recently retired man who goes by the name “Kyushu Neko Ojisan” (lit. The Cat Man from Kyushu). Retirement for this gent means he’s now free to walk his nine adorable cats in a baby buggy around Tokyo. And his crowds of admirers are growing with every stroll he takes.
The Cat Man became a minor celebrity in Kagoshima, Kyushu, after a job transfer led him there six years ago. Separated from his family for work, he became known for walking his cats in a stroller through Kagoshima’s famous Tenmonkan Arcade on the weekends. He was such a local fixture that when news got around that he and his cats would be leaving Kyushu after his retirement in March 2014, he was featured in an article by the Kagoshima Keizai newspaper.
After moving back to Tokyo at the end of March, Cat Man has been spotted at several main locations. He recently spent some time on the busy, upmarket street of Omotesando, near Harajuku, where a large crowd gathered to chat with him and take photos of his beautiful Chinchilla and Himalayan cats.
This is what nine cats in a stroller looks like. Number nine sits happily in a basket under the main carriage. You may wonder whether the cats are OK with being taken outdoors like this (and ordinarily we wouldn’t recommend it), but Cat Man’s furry friends seem perfectly at ease.
While it looked a bit crowded in the baby carriage, the cats were content to be outside in the fresh air, dozing off happily thanks to the body warmth of their travel companions.
The Cat Man from Kyushu says his cats have grown up well, thanks to the affection people lavish on them when he’s out and about. It fills him with warmth when he sees smiles on people’s faces as they stop to pet his cats.
We spotted the well-groomed cats again later in the evening, as their owner stopped to pick up some dinner.
While the others snoozed happily in the stroller, this one kept guard until Cat Man returned.
If you’d like to find out more about the Cat Man from Kyushu and get information on his upcoming locations, check out his Twitter feed or Facebook page. If you do happen to bump into him, let us know where you saw him in the comments section below!