National

Cat under the kotatsu: Wakayama chicken meat seller runs fruity campaign to help felines

Kyodo

A store that sells chicken meat has launched a kooky social media campaign to leverage Japanese people’s seemingly unrelated love of mikan (mandarin oranges), kotatsu heated tables and cute felines to raise funds for a network of shelter cat cafes.

Nakata Chicken in Wakayama Prefecture started selling boxes of mandarin oranges with accompanying cat-size cardboard kotatsu tables for ¥4,236, donating a percentage of sales to Neco Republic cat shelters and cafes.

In addition to the direct donations, Nakata Chicken is encouraging people to snap photos and videos of their cats playing with the fruit or at a kotatsu table and post them to social media.

The company will donate ¥2 for each post on Twitter and Instagram it sees with the hashtag #Nekotokotatsutoomoidemikan (a cat, kotatsu and memories of mandarin oranges).

The company says it brought together mandarins, kotatsu and cats as symbols of a typical Japanese winter, and the campaign was born. However, the link to chickens is unclear.

“We are hoping many people will find out about delicious local mandarin oranges and will help cats at the same time,” a company official said.

Wakayama Prefecture, where the chicken seller is based, is famous for its mandarin oranges.

Of the 2,222 sets of a box of mandarins and a kotatsu that the store expects to sell this winter, around 2,000 are already gone, according to the store. If it sells them all, the company says it will be happy to start taking pre-orders for next winter.

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