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Tama, wearing her stationmaster's hat
 is a calico cat who is the station master at Kishi Station in Kinokawamarker, Wakayama Prefecturemarker, Japanmarker.


Tama wears a decoration of "Wakayama de knight" given by Governor of Wakayama
In April 2006, the Wakayama Electric Railway converted all stations on the Kishigawa Line from manned to unmanned in an effort to cut costs. Station masters were selected from employees of local businesses near each station. For Kishi station, Toshiko Koyama, the neighborhood grocer, was selected as station master. Koyama had adopted Tama and other stray cats, and he fed them at the station.

In January 2007, railway officials decided to officially name Tama the station master. As station master her primary duty is to greet passengers. The position comes with a stationmaster's hat; in lieu of a salary, the railway provides Tama with free cat food.

Kishi Station in Kinokawa
The publicity from Tama's appointment led to an increase in ridership by 17% for that month as compared to January 2006; ridership statistics for March 2007 showed a 10% increase over the previous financial year. A study has estimated that the publicity surrounding Tama has contributed 1.1 billion Yen to the local economy. In January 2008, Tama was promoted to "super station master" in a ceremony attended by the president of the company and the mayor; as a result of her promotion, she is "the only female in a managerial position" in the company. Her new position has an "office"—a converted ticket booth containing a litter box.

Her staff consists of two feline assistant stationmasters, and an orange tabby cat named .Tama appeared in a documentary about cats titled La Voie du chat in French and Katzenlektionen in German by Italian filmmaker Myriam Tonelotto, broadcast on European TV channel ARTE in April 2009.

Kishigawa Line announced that it was releasing a new "Tama Densha" train that was customized with cartoon depictions of Tama. It began running in spring 2009.
2270 series EMU in "Tama Densha" colour scheme, April 2009


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