Posts

Showing posts from 2015

The Radioactive Man Who Returned To Fukushima To Feed The Animals That Everyone Else Left Behind

Image
The untold human suffering and property damage left in the wake of the Fukushima disaster in Japan has been well-documented, but there’s another population that suffered greatly that few have discussed – the animals left behind in the radioactive exclusion zone. One man, however, hasn’t forgotten – 55-year-old Naoto Matsumura, a former construction worker who lives in the zone to care for its four-legged survivors. He is known as the ‘guardian of Fukushima’s animals’ because of the work he does to feed the animals left behind by people in their rush to evacuate the government’s 12.5-mile exclusion zone. He is aware of the radiation he is subject to on a daily basis, but says that he “refuses to worry about it.” He does take steps, however, by only eating food imported into the zone. See more about his work and what he has seen in the exclusion zone below! More info:  Facebook  (h/t:  vice ,  bbc ,  aplus ) Naoto Matsumura is the only human brave enough to live in Fukushima’s 1

It's raining cats and tourists on a Japanese island

Image
AOSHIMA, Japan (Reuters) - An army of feral cats rules a remote island in southern Japan, curling up in abandoned houses or strutting about in a fishing village that is overrun with felines outnumbering humans six to one. Originally introduced to the mile-long island of Aoshima to deal with mice that plagued fishermen's boats, the cats stayed on - and multiplied. More than 120 cats swarm the island with only a handful of humans for company, mostly pensioners who didn't join the waves of migrants seeking work in the cities after World War Two. Aoshima, a 30-minute ferry ride off the coast of Ehime prefecture, had been home to 900 people in 1945. The only sign of human activity now is the boatload of day-trippers from the mainland, visiting what is locally known as Cat Island. With no restaurants, cars, shops or kiosks selling snacks, Aoshima is no tourist haven. But cat lovers are not complaining. "There is a ton of cats here, then there was this sort of ca

ENVIRONMENT | OLD NIC'S NOTEBOOK Talking tanuki — or whatever you call them

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/life/2015/01/03/environment/talking-tanuki-whatever-call/#.VKnO8EZOKJK After deer, easily the most commonly seen wild mammals up here in the Kurohime hills where I live, and in northern Nagano Prefecture in general, are the furry, short-legged burrowing creatures called  tanuki  in Japanese. If you look up that word in older Japanese-English dictionaries you’ll find it translated as “badger,” but that’s wrong because these omnivorous animals, whose native range spans many countries of East Asia, are classified in the family Canidae — which includes domestic dogs, wolves, foxes, jackals and coyotes. Hence they’re entirely different from the Mustelidae to which badgers (along with otters, weasels, martens, ferrets, minks and wolverines) belong. More modern dictionaries will tell you that tanuki means “raccoon dog,” but that is extremely misleading because, although they slightly resemble raccoons, they are very different — and they’re certainly not dogs that e