Showing posts from December, 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