Tama died to heart failure at 16 years of age. In all of Japan, Tama was the only cat stationmaster and was a hero of a dying railway line. Over 3000 people appeared for her funeral. She was a beloved cat in Japan. In 2007, she was chosen as the honorary stationmaster who had a cute custom conductor hat and medal. This encouraged travelers to visit the deserted Kishi station in the rural Wakayama prefecture. Oh yes, it did work and companys profit rised.
Rail workers and Tama-loving citizens alike came to respect Tama after her death. She earned high praise from her co-workers. Mitsunobu Kojima, president of the Wakayama Electric Railway said “Tama-chan really emerged like a saviour, a goddess. It was truly an honour to have been able to work with her.” The Governor of Wakayama, Yoshinobu Nisaka, spoke to Tama’s passing: “I express my deep sorrow and great gratitude,” and even mentioned to Tama as a “superstar of tourism.”
Tama at her post at Kishi station.