This is one “purr”-fectly amazing sight to behold.
A giant digital cat that appears on a billboard in Tokyo has captivated the city, leaving people “mesmerized,” according to NBC’s Tom Llamas, who has been reporting on the ground there in the lead up to the Summer Olympics.
“They line up to watch this thing. It pops out for about 10 seconds at a time, and the organizers say COVID has been so dark in Japan they wanted some brightness,” Llamas said Friday on the 3rd hour of TODAY.
The cat does not have a name, although some people have taken to calling it “Shinjuku east exit cat,” after the nearby Shinjuku subway station, reports The New York Times.
The cat, which is not promoting any product or service and just there to please crowds, is featured on a 26-by-62-foot LED screen that does not officially open until Monday, although people have already flocked to see it, according to the Times. The faux feline pops up on screen a few times each hour in between ads and videos. Around 1 a.m., it retires for about six hours of sleep.
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Takayuki Ohkawa, a spokesman for the Japanese company Unika, one of the two companies behind the billboard, told the Times it’s a way to provide some cheer in uncertain times.
“There are many reasons we decided to display the cat, but one of the big reasons is that with corona, the world became very dark,” he said. “Through the cat display, we wanted to revive Shinjuku and make it brighter.”
Anyone interested in seeing the cat in action can watch a livestream feed to see what the hype is about for themselves.
The display is the latest innovative billboard to take over the Pacific. As the Times notes, a giant wave rolled onto one last year in Seoul, South Korea, and the Chinese city of Chengdu featured a futuristic ship that looked like it was coming out of a building.