And it’s not just because they’ve got an adorable logo…
Yamato Transport, affectionately known simply as “kuroneko” (lit. “black cat”) in Japan due to its adorable logo of a mother cat carrying her kitten in her mouth, is the largest door-to-door delivery company in Japan. The company was founded in 1919 by Yasuomi Ogura, who was also the creator of the aforementioned logo, which he felt would remind his employees to handle the parcels as if they were their own kids.
But what is it about Kuroneko that makes Japan love them so?
1. They’ll deliver to your location, no matter where you are
【クロネコヤマト最強伝説】 10年に一度の寒波警報発令中！ それではここで、「どんな地域にも届けるぞ！」という強い意志を感じられるクロネコヤマトの豪雪地帯用車輛の勇姿をご覧下さい！ https://t.co/B2ZwBOxv88—
情景師アラーキー/荒木さとし (@arakichi1969) January 23, 2016
Do you live in a snowy place where regular tires can’t get any traction? No problem, because Kuroneko has some special vehicles in their fleet so they can reach you no matter where you live. Included in their delivery armada are boats that they use to reach some of the more isolated islands in Japan.
2. They’ll deliver to your address even when they have only a phone number and post code to go on
のいぞう (@neuzo) September 18, 2015
For all those times when the computer makes a mess of your address, Kuroneko won’t just give up and return the package to sender. They will go the extra mile and use your information, like a phone number and postal code, to figure out where the package should go.
3. They’ll give it the “soft touch in purin” care
ありにゃん(´꒳｀*) (@arinyan1211) July 14, 2012
Whether you are waiting for a box of books or sending something a little more breakable, you can be confident that your package will be handled with extreme delicacy. You could probably send custard pudding on a plate and the recipient would get the jiggly food in perfect condition. Also if you do send pudding, the drivers swear they won’t take a bite of it if they get hungry.
4. They’ll work till they lose their fingers (on their gloves)
クロネコさんの軍手、やっと捕獲！ にゃー*\(^o^)/* http://t.co/tLBSqYH0FH—
わか (@waka_kayo) October 30, 2014
Besides the fact that their work gloves are the most adorable hand protectors you’ve ever seen, they’ll keep at the job until the very holey end.
5. Customers can redeem Kuroneko points to snag a pair of those gloves themselves
クロネコポイント・貯めてもらった、宅急便の「軍手」 ネコの肉球型すべり止めゴム付き！ ＼(^o^)／ https://t.co/tVpgPVmkpD—
(@streetcar) January 11, 2016
Unfortunately, you can’t buy those cute kitty print gloves in any store, but you can get them from their catalogue with Kuroneko points. They cost about 150 points and you can choose between green, pink, blue and yellow gloves. Because who doesn’t like cute merch?
6. They’ll always look out for cats
ひなたん (@hinatan410) April 14, 2014
Whether it is a cat at someone’s house or a stray cat taking a break under a car, Kuroneko employees apparently take extra care to make sure the animals that inspired their logo are having a good day.
7. They do their part for the environment
ハギぼう (@hagi0104) June 27, 2014
In an age where we need to seriously start taking better care of the environment, Kuroneko has responded by utilizing a bicycle driven cart. You see these things everywhere in urban hubs like Tokyo.
8. They’ll piggyback on passenger buses
岩手県北バスとヤマト運輸によるヒトものバス 2015年度グッドデザイン賞受賞 http://t.co/7Zv3397wyj—
らいらっく (@Lilac7e) October 05, 2015
Another way the company is doing its bit for the environment is by putting parcels going long distances onto buses that are already traveling on that route. Saves on gas and emissions, and saves the customers some money too!
9. They’ll help anyone out, even a rival company
コウノ＠京都の妖怪の人 (@kouno0521) November 15, 2013
In the photo above, the man second from the left is a someone who works for Kuroneko. The other four all work for Sagawa Express, a rival transportation company. Never leave a fellow delivery guy stranded!
10. They helped sponsor the Ghibli movie Kiki’s Delivery Service
すてら（公式アカウント） (@Story_terror) January 22, 2016
The word “takkyubin” was a word created and trademarked by the company when they began their door-to-door service. And although permission to use the word wasn’t really necessary, Kuroneko not only approved the use, but enthusiastically sponsored the movie probably because a black cat, Jiji, plays such an important role in it.
If by now those 10 facts don’t firmly place you on “Team Kuroneko”, we don’t know what else will! If you live in Japan, next time you see a Kuroneko truck on the street, make sure you thank them for all their hard work. To those who deliver our packages, we salute you!