Showing posts from 2008

Tanuki (=?UTF-8?Q?=E7=8B=B8?= or タヌキ, Tanuki)

Tanuki (狸 or タヌキ, Tanuki) is the Japanese word for the Japanese raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonides viverrinus). They have been part of Japanese folklore since ancient times. The legendary tanuki is reputed to be mischievous and jolly, a master of disguise and shapeshifting, but somewhat gullible and absent-minded. Tanuki is often mistakenly translated as raccoon or badger. Statues of tanuki can be found outside many Japanese temples and restaurants, especially noodle shops. These statues often wear big, cone-shaped hats and carry bottles of sake in one hand, and a promissory note or empty purse in the other hand. Tanuki statues always have large bellies. The statues also usually show humorously large testicles, typically hanging down to the floor or ground, although this feature is sometimes omitted in contemporary sculpture.[citation needed] Organizers chose November 8 as the date for the Tanuki holiday because the emperor made his famous visit in November and because the tanuki has

Japanese Marten

By Bill Barthen Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Subphylum: Vertebrata Class: Mammalia Order: Carnivora Suborder: Caniformia Family: Mustelidae Subfamily: Mustelinae Genus: Martes Species: Martes melampus Geographic Range Martes melampus melampus is found on the islands of Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu in Japan. M. melampus melampus was introduced from Honshu to Sado and Hokkaido Islands in Japan by 1949 to increase fur products (Hosoda et al. 1999). Its distribution is southwestern Hokkaido, specifically the low altitude areas of the Oshima Peninsula and Ishikari, but research is needed to confirm its distribution (Murakami and Ohtaishi 2000). Martes melampus tsuensis is sparsely distributed on the Tsushima Islands of Japan (Buskirk 1994). Martes melampus coreensis is found on the mainland of South Korea into North Korea. (Anderson, 1970; Buskirk et al., 1994; Hosoda et al., 1999; Murakami and Ohtaishi, 2000) Biogeographic Regions: palearctic (introduced , native ). Habitat Elevation

Shiba - Inu

The Shiba Inu (柴犬, Shiba Inu? also called the Shiba Ken) is the smallest of the six original and distinct breeds of dog from Japan.[1] A small, agile dog that copes very well with mountainous terrain, the Shiba Inu was originally bred for hunting.[1][2] It is similar in appearance to the Akita, though much smaller in stature. Inu is the Japanese word for dog, but the origin of the prefix "Shiba" is less clear. The word shiba usually refers to a type of red shrub. This leads some to believe that the Shiba was named with this in mind, either because the dogs were used to hunt in wild shrubs, or because the most common color of the Shiba Inu is a red color similar to that of the shrubs. However, in old Japanese, the word shiba also had the meaning of "small", thus this might be a reference to the dog's small size. Therefore, the Shiba Inu is sometimes translated as "Little Brushwood Dog" - Discount Domain Registration http:

Kiso - Japanese Horse

Kiso The Kiso horse has inhabited Japan for about one thousand years and has in the past been an indispensable aid for farm use, transportation, and power. Exact origin of the Kiso and other ancient horse breeds of Japan is uncertain. They are believed to be descended from either the plateau horses of Central Asia or the Mongolian horses of the grasslands. Japan uses horses for military purposes as well as in agriculture and transportation. In the twelfth century, the warrior Yashinaka Kiso reportedly had 10,000 horse soldiers. In the Edo era (1600-1867) there was again emphasis on military use. Kiso canyon belonged to the Owari feudal clan. Records from this time regarding the ancient types have been a valuable aid to modern horse breeders. The government of the Kiso area considered the Kiso horse a strategic material, and produced many; numbers again reaching more than 10,000. During the Meiji period (1868-1903), Japan fought against several foreign countries. Beca

Amami Rabbit - A Living Fossil in Japan

The Amami Rabbit (Pentalagus furnessi; Amami: ʔosagi), or Amami no Kuro Usagi 奄美の黒兔 (, Amami no Kuro Usagi 奄美の黒兔?), also known as the Ryukyu Rabbit, is a primitive dark-furred rabbit which is only found in Amami Ōshima and Toku-no-Shima, two small islands between southern Kyūshū and Okinawa in Kagoshima Prefecture (but actually closer to Okinawa) in Japan. Often called a living fossil, the Amami Rabbit is a living remnant of ancient rabbits that once lived on the Asian mainland, where they died out, remaining only on the two small islands where they survive today. The Amami Rabbit has short legs, a somewhat bulky body, rather large and curved claws, and is active at night. Its ears are also significantly smaller than those of other rabbits or hares. A forest-dweller, it apparently only has one (or sometimes two) young at once, which the mother digs a hole in the ground for them to hide in during the day. At night, the mother opens the entrance to the hole, while watching for predators

Japanese Deer - The Sika Deer (Cervus nippon)

The Sika Deer (Cervus nippon) is a member of the deer family Cervidae that inhabits much of East Asia. It is found in mixed deciduous forests to the north, and mixed subtropical deciduous and evergreen forests to the south. The Sika Deer are closely related to Red Deer, Central Asian Red Deer and elk. Sika deer are found from the Ussuri region of Siberia south to Korea, Manchuria and Northern and Southern China, with a possibly isolated population in Vietnam. It is also native to Taiwan and Japan and were possibly introduced to some smaller western Pacific islands. The largest race of Sika deer (found in the colder north) are Dybowski's Sika Deer (C. n. dybowskii) of Manchuria and Ussuri Region, and the Hokkaidō Sika Deer (C. n. yesoensis) of Hokkaidō Island in Japan. The Kerama Sika Deer (C. n. keramae) of the Ryukyu Islands is one of the smallest, and unlike other subspecies, has the whole body (including the rump patch) dark brown. The Formosan Sika Deer (C. n. taioanus) is rath

Japanese Snow Monkeys

Japanese Macaque Common Names: Snow Monkey, Nihon zaru Genus: Macaca Species: fuscata Many of us are familiar with images of monkeys soaking up the watery warmth of a hot spring in the midst of a bone chilling, wintery landscape. These are the Snow Monkeys, or Japanese macaques of Japan, living at latitudes of 41° to 31° north of the equator, the only monkeys to live that far north in the world. The Japanese macaque lives throughout Japan, with a range covering subtropical lowlands to sub alpine regions. The great differences in habitats have made it necessary for the macaques to adapt to large seasonal changes. In the central and northern areas of Japan the temperatures can range from 5° F (-15° C) and snow more than 1 meter deep in the winter, to 73.4° F (23° C) in the summer. Although they can be found in forested hills, highlands and mountains, there are four different areas in Japan that the Japanese macaques are located. Their northern limit is on the Shimokita Peninsula in the

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Japanese River Otter

Description: The length is about 80cm,the weight is about 5-11kg. The body color is dark brown and between the throat and abdomen is white. The hands and feet which are short and are webbed. The body form is streamlined. The head which is flat has small ears. The mustache is very thick and it has a long and big tail. Habitat: They live between rivers and the seashore and dig the hole there. This animal is nocturnal, and it is resting in the roost, and acts alone fundamentally from the evening to early morning, and food is taken in a river or sea daytime. Population(before and now): Although there was capture of 1000 or more animal, before, 8-20 animals live now. Reasons for its decline in population: Water pollution by agricultural chemicals, chemical cleaner, waste water from a factories. It make the food protect quantity drop. Until 1960's there was a lot of hunting. Efforts to save this animal: People of Susaki city, Kochi are protecting Japanese river otters. People of a Sh

Hokkaido Wolf

The Hokkaido Wolf (Canis lupus hattai (蝦夷狼, Ezo-ōkami)), also known as the Ezo Wolf, is one of the two extinct subspecies of Canis lupus that have been called the Japanese Wolf. The other is the Honshū Wolf. This endemic wolf of Japan occupied the island of Hokkaidō. The Hokkaido Wolf was larger than the Honshū Wolf, more closely approaching the size of a regular Gray Wolf. The Hokkaido Wolf became extinct during the Meiji restoration period. The wolf was deemed a threat to ranching (which the Meiji government promoted at the time) and targeted via a bounty system and a direct chemical extermination campaign. Hokkaido experienced significant development during this period and the Hokkaido Wolf also suffered from resulting environmental disruption. The wolf was afforded a benign, rather than malignant, place in Japanese mythology and religion: the clan leader Fujiwara no Hidehira was said to have been raised by wolves, and the wolf is often symbolically linked with mountain kami in Shin

Nomura Jellyfish - Giant Jellyfish

Nomura's Jellyfish (エチゼンクラゲ, echizen kurage, Nemopilema nomurai) is a very large Japanese jellyfish. It is in the same size class as the lion's mane jellyfish, the largest cnidarian in the world. The width of these jellyfish are slightly larger than the height of most full grown men. Growing up to 2 meters (6 feet 7 inches) in diameter and weighing up to 220 kilograms (ca. 450 pounds), Nomura's Jellyfish reside primarily in the waters between China and Japan, primarily centralized in the Yellow Sea and East China Sea where they spawn. While stings of this large jellyfish are painful, they are not usually toxic enough to cause serious harm in humans. However, the jellyfish's sting has been reported as fatal in some cases by causing a build-up of fluid in the lungs. As a precaution, fisherman encountering these jellyfish wear eye protection and protective clothes. To date there have only been nine reported deaths from the Nomura's sting. The most recent problems first

Honshu Wolf

Honshū Wolf Honshū Wolf Canis lupus hodophilax Canis lupus hodophilax Conservation status Extinct (1905) Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Mammalia Order: Carnivora Family: Canidae Genus: Canis Species: C. lupus Subspecies: C. l. hodophilax Trinomial name Canis lupus hodophilax (Temminck, 1839) Synonyms * hodopylax (Temminck, 1844) * japonicus (Nehring, 1885)[1] The term "Japanese Wolf" (狼 or オオカミ, Ōkami?) refers to two extinct subspecies of the Gray Wolf. The subspecies that the name 'Japanese Wolf' usually describes is the Honshū Wolf (Canis lupus hodophilax (日本狼 or ニホンオオカミ, Nihon Ōkami?)), which occupied the islands of Honshū, Shikoku, and Kyūshū in Japan. The other is the Hokkaido Wolf. The Honshū Wolf is thought to have become extinct due to a combination of rabies, which was first reported in Kyūshū and Shikoku in 1732, and human eradication. The last known specimen died in 1905, in Nara Prefecture. Some interpr

Japanese Bobtail Cat

The Japanese Bobtail is a breed of cat with an unusual 'bobbed' tail more closely resembling the tail of a rabbit than that of an ordinary feline. The short tail is a cat body type genetic mutation caused by the expression of a recessive gene[1]. Thus, so long as both parents are bobtails, all kittens born to a litter will have bobtails as well. Unlike the Manx and other cat breeds, where genetic disorders are common to tailless or stumpy-tails, no such problem exists with the Japanese Bobtail. The Japanese Bobtail is a small domestic cat native to Japan and Southeast Asia, though it is now found throughout the world. The breed has been known in Japan for centuries, and there are many stories, as well as pieces of ancient art, featuring it. Japanese bobtails may have almost any color, but "Mi-ke" (三毛, mike?, lit. "three fur", composed of white, black and brown coloring) or bi-colors are especially favored by the Japanese. Much like any other breed, the color

Iriomote Wildcat - A Living Fossil in Japan

Iriomote wildcat The Iriomote wildcat (Prionailurus iriomotensis; Japanese: 西表山猫 Iriomote-yamaneko), is a wild cat about the size of a domestic cat that lives exclusively on the Japanese island of Iriomote. It is considered a "living fossil" by many biologists because it has not changed much from its primitive form. The Iriomote cat is one of the most threatened species of cat (formerly considered a subspecies of the leopard cat), with an estimated population of fewer than 100 individuals. It has dark brown fur, a bushy tail, and it is not able to sheathe its claws. When it was discovered in 1967, it was regarded as a survivor of an extinct line of felines and placed in a separate genus Mayailurus as Mayailurus iriomotensis. It was then assigned as a subspecies of the leopard cat, before being elevated to the species level again within the same genus of the leopard cat, Prionailurus. This view is still being discussed: some authorities still claim to classify the Iriomote

Where are the bees going?

Where are the bees going? Published: Thursday, March 13, 2008 6:58 PM CDT Honey may soon be more valuable than oil. Scientists worldwide are concerned about the disappearance of honeybees. Their concerns are well founded. Bees do a lot more for the food chain than provide honey. Beyond that, they are also important to the overall environment. The United States Department of Agriculture reported that 22 states are reporting vanishing bee populations. Appearing before Congress, a member of the California State Beekeepers Association said about 40 percent of his 2,000 colonies have died. Nationwide, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that there are 25 percent fewer beehives than during the 1980’s. This has caused an impact among beekeepers since they now number half of what they previously have been. What is causing the disappearance of bees? Agricultural experts are largely mystified. During winter many bees usually die. However, that is not necessarily the case now. Accordin