A poultry goods operation has launched a kooky social media campaign to leverage Japanese people's seemingly unrelated love of "mikan" citrus fruit, "kotatsu" heated tables and cute felines to raise funds for a shelter cat cafe network.
Nakata Chicken in Wakayama Prefecture started selling boxes of mikan with accompanying cat-sized cardboard kotatsu tables for 4,236 yen ($39), donating a percentage of sales to Neco Republic cat shelters and cafes.
[Courtesy of Nakata Chicken]
In addition to the direct donations, Nakata Chicken is encouraging people to snap photos and videos of their cats playing with the fruit or a kotatsu table and post them to social media.
The company will donate 2 yen for each post on Twitter and Instagram it sees with the hashtag "Neko to kotatsu to omoide mikan" (a cat, kotatsu and memories of mikan).
The company says it brought together mikan, kotatsu and cats as symbols of a typical Japanese winter, and the campaign was born -- the link to chickens is unclear.
"We are hoping many people will find out about delicious local mikan and will help cats at the same time," a company official said.
Wakayama, the western Japan prefecture where the chicken seller is based, is famous for its mikan.
Of the 2,222 boxes of mikan that the store expects to sell this winter, around 2,000 are already gone, according to the store, and if it sells out it is happy to take pre-orders for next winter.