An island where nobody can have a dog

According to Nishinippon Shinbun, there is an island that having a dog as a pet is a big taboo. The island is located in Saga prefecture, it is called Kakarashima (???). About 130 people live there (2015). A journalist who works for Nishinippon Shinbun has visited the island. The journalist has asked residents about having pet dogs. People said “No one can own a dog, never ever.” “If you have a dog, some bad fortune will happen.”

Ms. Sakamoto told the journalist, “More than 50 years ago, one person brought a dog to our island. All residents conspired together and put meat all over this island, and captured the dog.” Actually, the journalist could find only one person who used to have a pet dog. Ms. Mune said “17 years ago, I had a dog for 3 months. I think I am the only person who had a dog. My daughter begged me to have a dog. We walked the dog only at night, to avoid being found out by other people. My relatives said “You shouldn’t have bought a dog.” “Something is going to go wrong on this entire island.” Also, the dog’s barking got louder, so we gave away the dog to relatives who live outside of this island.

Why is having a dog on the island a big taboo??
Some residents told stories about a dog and a shrine on the island. The journalist asked 44 people and the shrine’s priest, but nobody knew about the details or the truth of the story. (Nishinippon Shinbun, 2017) (

IMG_4980(Both photos are taken by moepapa

Now, Kakarashima is well known as “Cat Island”. There are a lots of cats on the island maybe because there is no dog. Places where there are many cats, are very popular for travelers. Cats might actually be helping the island economy. The end result is that it may be good to not allow dogs on the island.


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