Directed by Mitsuaki Iwagō (Japan, 2019 103 min.).

An adaptation of the popular manga Neko to Jichan, The Island of Cats takes place on a small, sleepy island with few cars and many well-fed feline residents. Daikichi (Shinosuke Tatekawa) is a retired school teacher living alone with his cat, Nama, after the passing of his beloved wife. Daikichi was born and raised on the island, and he enjoys his easygoing life there with his surly childhood friend, Iwao (Kaoru Kobayashi), an idiosyncratic cast of fellow locals, and, of course, Nama. When Iwao passes away, Daikichi finds his life beginning to change and worries about his own mortality.

Better known for his wildlife photography, director Mitsuaki Iwagō lends a sensitive, naturalistic approach to the portrayal of animal and human bonds, resulting in a heartwarming film about what makes life worth living.

“And all the while the island’s cats keep reminding us that life can be wonderful if everyone can just get along, bliss out in the warm sun—and snatch the occasional fish from an unsuspecting fisherman.” —Mark Schilling, The Japan Times

Wheelchair accessible symbol

Wheelchair accessible

With English subtitles

Past Dates and Times

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Friday, January 31, 2020

Ticket Information

To order tickets by phone, call 1-800-440-6975 ($6 processing fee applies); to order in person, visit any MFA ticket desk.

Ticketing Policies


Purchase tickets to three or more regularly priced films at once and get $3 off each ticket. Discount automatically applies at checkout. This discount is not applicable on past purchases. All tickets must be purchased at the same time within the same order for discount to apply.

Groups of 10 or more are eligible for discounted tickets for most of our films. For more information, please call 617-369-3310.

University Members can purchase $5 same-day tickets in person for regularly priced screenings. Valid student ID required, limit of one ticket per ID.


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This Japanese Program at the MFA is generously supported by a 10-year partnership with UNIQLO USA.