This was eventually going to happen, no? Near the east entrance of Shinjuku station, a digital display is now broadcasting an enormous calico cat.
Similar ultra-realistic 3D displays have previously been installed in Chengdu, China as well as in Seoul, South Korea. The wraparound displays create anamorphic illusions. While those previous digital visual tricks featured things like crashing waves, the Japanese version features a big cat.
Have a look at it in the clip below!
But why? Remember, this is a country that invented Hello Kitty, perfected the cat cafe, and even pays homage to super lucky cats with their own Buddhist temple. Author Sarah Archer detailed Japan’s love affair with their feline friends in her book Catland. (If you haven’t read it, grab a copy right here!)
According to Nippon News Network, the 4K curved display is around two-storeys high and measures over 150 square meters. Many people arepassing by to snap pictures of the cat when it shows up intermittently. And when it does, the cat is looking around from above, meowing, and the like. (At night, the cat yawns and lays down to sleep!)
The name of the display is Cross Shinjuku Vision, but it seems like it’s being called kyodai mikeneko (巨大三毛猫) or “giant calico cat” or simply the “giant cat (kyodai neko, 巨大ネコ).
People interviewed by Fuji Network News were surprised at how realistic the digital cat looks. (Though, it points out, if you look at the display directly from the side, the angle can spoil the illusion.) FNN adds that a long-established studio apparently worked on this project and new digital animations for the cat are being developed.
Expect the giant cat to become a favorite meeting spot for Tokyoites and a photo grist for visitors.