"Namennayo" Cats began in 1980 by producer Tsuda, after he took on to look
after four abandoned kittens. Photo shoots of "Namennayo" Cats were usually
carried out about 10 times during the period from 50 days to 80 days after
the kittens'f birth. After which the kittens would 'retire', because the kittens
grew faster than expected and their faces started maturing into faces of an
adult cat. All retired kittens came under the care of Tsuda and his staff.
During the peak of the "Namennayo" Cats boom, there were people from all
over Japan asking to adopt a retired "Namennayo" Cat. The main character
Matakichi was actually a girl. Without realizing it was a girl during the
early photo shoots, Tsuda had given her a boy's name. After becoming an adult
cat, Matakichi became a mother of 4, one resembled Matakichi's handsome (beautiful?)
looks and was known as Matakichi the Second. After that came Matakichi the
Third. Matakichi herself lived for 16 years before leaving us. Although the
average life span of a cat is around 15 years, Mikeko, who was posed in the
photos as Matakichi's 'girlfrien'f (we thought Matakichi was a boy then) had
lived healthily over 20 years after the photo shoots. Mikeko was looked after
by one of the staffers and in human lives she would have lived over 100 years.
This was covered in detail on the television show 20th Century Expedition
(Nijuu Seiki Tankentai).