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Public cats of Tokyo: Indo Sarasa, Higashi–Ikebukuro

Meet Kin and Gin, the odd-couple siblings

Our monthly quest to find, name and shame Tokyo's 'Public cats' continues unabated. The target this time is Indo Sarasa, an Ikebukuro shop specialising in traditional clothing from the Asian mainland. Here you'll be greeted by a cat sporting a toothbrush moustache – we'll let you be the judge on whether it resembles Charlie Chaplin's or that of a certain German dictator.

This is Gin, one of the shop's two resident business kitties, who likes spending his days hanging out in a cardboard box placed on the windowsill, probably pondering whether his tash is actually a detachable accessory sold at the shop.

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His brother and partner in crime, Kin, is also an ebony cat, though his fur is unmoustachioed and runs jet-black throughout, apart from a few white spots around his legs and stomach. We're told Kin is the clumsy one and burned some of his hair one time when he got too close to the candles of a birthday cake. 

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The feline siblings were originally owned by a friend of the shop's manager, who initially intended on taking in only one of them. But when he learned that the two were brothers, he couldn't bring himself to separate them.

Ever since their adoption, the cats have become family and are even carried home in a special cat bag at night. While Kin is sensitive to noise and is easily worked up on the daily commute, Gin sleeps like a log during the train journey.

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The difference in character between the two becomes ever more apparent to us with the appearance of a plastic bag. While Kin can't help but contain his excitement and pounces on the bag as if it was a mouse, Gin couldn't be less interested and even appears dismayed by his brother's naivety. Typical behaviour from a veteran baddie... 

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When bribed with treats, however, both cats put their act on and perform tricks like extending their paw out for a high-five.

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Having basically lived all of their lives at the shop, the kitties have learned not to rough up the elegant saris on sale and are friendly with customers to an almost suspicious degree. Let down your guard even for a second and you could fall for their charms. 

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Photos by Kisa Toyoshima

Suspect file

Kin and Gin (both male)

Daily work schedule

1pm-8pm daily

Place of employment

Indo Sarasa

This shop specialising in traditional Asian clothes and goods is found on the east side of Ikebukuro, quite a walk from the station not far from the Yamanote line tracks. It's also home to two adorable cat siblings...

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Otsuka

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