The question “which do you like a cat or dog?” is frequently asked in a usual conversation. For the catlovers visiting in Kakunodate, the strongly recommended shop is “Neko no Mise Namegawa,” where theproducts in the motif of cats are sold.
The shop was built with the building materials which had been used in the temple built in the late in the Period of Edo. The shop is located at the corner of the old samurai residence street, and the tourists and cat lovers visit there each and every day.
But there is a question why the cat motif item shop is in Kakunodate. Its origin is that the mother of the owner loved kimono, and there were many wastes of pieces of the kimono. One of her friends crafted the doll of the cat made of the wastes of pieces. She learned how to craft and began to make the dolls by herself. At the beginning, she sold them to the tourists for cherry blossoms or in front of her home as a second job. But after the huge earthquake on 11th March in 2011, she returned to Kakunodate, and
began to run “Neko no Mise” with her domestic cat.
In fact the products in the local design motif of cats quietly get popular and currently the wholesalers apply for purchase from all over the country. Her business style is not to pursue a benefit but primarily to make the customers happy. It is one of her attraction to talk easily and friendly. It is important for her to make the tourists visiting Kakunodate happy and her hospitality appears in the conversation. The friendly character of Namegawa is also an attractive point of this shop.
In this interview, the most impressive phrase by Namegawa was that there were the people who could easily get friendly just because they are a cat lover. Furthermore, this shop is a hidden place for couples in Kakunodate, and perhaps the cat becomes Cupid between the couple.
written by Ito, Akita University
Shop Name: Chicchana Tezukuri Neko no Mise Namegawa
Address: 4-3 Higashikatsurakutyou, Kakunodate-machi Senboku City, Akita 014-0300
Open Hours: 11:00 – 15:30
Direction: 16 minutes walking from JR Kakunodate station
The owner is a cat lover and there are various kinds of the cat motif goods. The design of the goods is calico, tabby, tortoiseshell and many other cats in a unique face. It is strongly recommended for the cat lovers to drop in and look around this shop.