Caturday: Tama, the Stationmaster Cat

by 1389 on February 12, 2011

in 1389 (blog admin), Caturday, Facebook, Japan, railroads and trains, vehicles and transportation

YouTube: Cat Station Master

YouTube: The Cutest Train Car in the World: The Tama Densha

Tama on Wikipedia:

Tama (たま, born April 29, 1999) is a calico cat who is the station master and operating officer at Kishi Station in Kinokawa, Wakayama Prefecture, Japan.

In April 2006, the Wakayama Electric Railway converted all stations on the Kishigawa Line from manned to unmanned in an effort to cut costs. Station masters were selected from employees of local businesses near each station. For Kishi station, Toshiko Koyama, the neighborhood grocer, was selected as station master. Koyama had adopted Tama and other stray cats, and he fed them at the station.

In January 2007, railway officials decided to officially name Tama the station master. As station master her primary duty is to greet passengers. The position comes with a stationmaster’s hat; in lieu of a salary, the railway provides Tama with free cat food.

The publicity from Tama’s appointment led to an increase in passengers by 17% for that month as compared to January 2006; ridership statistics for March 2007 showed a 10% increase over the previous financial year. A study has estimated that the publicity surrounding Tama has contributed 1.1 billion Yen to the local economy. In January 2008, Tama was promoted to “super station master” in a ceremony attended by the president of the company and the mayor; as a result of her promotion, she is “the only female in a managerial position” in the company…

Tama the Railroad Cat - click for original article

Tama the Stationmaster Cat, with information placards about her train, “Tama Densha” (たま電車, Tama railcar/train)

Diagram of Tama's Train - click for original article

The plan for the train (shown above) includes photo booths in which one can take and print cute Tama-themed purikura photos, vending machines for souvenir badges, cat-themed furnishings, a library of children’s books, and other amenities.

Tama's train in real life - click for full-view original

Here’s the train in real life. It began running in spring 2009.

Tama in ceremonial garb - click for full-view original

From Wikipedia: “Tama wears a decoration of ‘Wakayama de knight’ (a pun, ‘It got to be Wakayama’ in Japanese) given by Governor of Wakayama”

Comfortable stationmaster room for Tama - click for full-view original

Tama’s comfortable stationmaster’s room, converted from a ticket office, includes sleeping quarters and a litter box, which is hidden away to give Tama appropriate privacy.

Tama's Osaka-Ryobi Bus - click for more photos

There’s also a Tama-themed Osaka-Ryobi bus!

More here:


Update:

See: Tama the Station Master on Facebook.


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Nikita Cat February 18, 2011 at 9:35 am

My Daddy Kiril, the Mad Macedonian, told me about this!

Very cool!

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