Kishima Shrine has koma-neko cat guardians because silk farmers in the 19th century kept cats to protect their precious silkworms and cocoons from rats. Rats were a major problem for the silk industry.

They ate the silk cocoons and worms. So cats saved the local silk industry.

The left cat is the mother (holding a kitten), and right cat is the father. Also respectively "A" and "un."

These koma-neko cat guardian statues were donated in 1832 by silk merchants and wholesalers such as the Tonomura family (外村家一族、岩滝のちりめん問屋、山家屋の小室利七) who were textile merchants from Higashi-Omi (Gokasho), Shiga Prefecture.狛猫

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