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2009年4月19日 (日)

一茶記念館:「館長猫」毎朝出勤、夕方に退庁 長野

(Mainichi Japan) April 19, 2009
Moggy made director of memorial museum for cat-loving haiku poet
一茶記念館:「館長猫」毎朝出勤、夕方に退庁 長野

A cat that has become a regular visitor to a museum for famous haiku poet Issa Kobayashi (1763-1827) here has been made a special director of the museum.
The cat, Sora, makes daily visits from his owner's house nearby to the town-run Issa Memorial Museum in Shinano, Nagano Prefecture, the birthplace of the Edo-period poet. Cats appear in many of Issa's poems, and the museum is planning to hold an exhibition of his cat-themed works.

"We want visitors to feel close to Issa through the cats in the poems," said museum curator Atsuko Nakamura.

The museum says that the 2-year-old Sora started to show up in late August last year. At first, he just wandered around the parking lot, but began to slip into the exhibition rooms and office through the automatic doors.

Sora, dubbed "Kancho-neko" (Museum Director Cat), now comes to the office at around 8 a.m. every day, hanging around the office or cruising round the museum to greet visitors before knocking off at around 5:30 p.m.

When the weather is bad, Toyoo Kobayashi, the museum's real director, gives Sora a ride home. From this April, Sora started to show up with his little sister Umi.

According to the museum, cats are the most common animal in Issa's haiku poems, appearing in more than 300 works.

"I know Issa loved cats, but maybe my cats like him too," said Sora's owner Tamiko Sugiyama.
「猫の子が ちよいと押(おさ)へる おち葉哉(かな)」などが有名だ。飼い主の杉山さんは「一茶は猫が好きだったみたいだけど、猫にも気があるのでは」と話している。【大平明日香】

毎日新聞 2009年4月17日 12時49分(最終更新 4月17日 13時30分)


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