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Fetching Good Luck for the New Year (Japan in Photos)

Shiba-inu-shaped Daruma dolls await the New Year at Arai Darumaya, a 150-year-old purveyor of the roly-poly figures in Hiratsuka, Kanagawa Prefecture. The company says production of the hand-made, papier-mâché pups is almost ready for 2018, the year of the dog according to the cycle of 12 eto, or zodiacal animals. Sold as good-luck charms, each pooch goes for ¥3,000. (© Jiji)
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Feline Fatale: A Look at Japan’s Growing Cat ManiaKita Yōsuke

Cats are royalty in Japan. Each month a slew of new feline-themed books, toys, and other goods hit store shelves, suggesting that the country’s obsession with the cuddly animals is here to stay. Social media has also become a lively gathering point for cat fans, including proud owners who post pictures and videos of their whiskered charges. Economist and hopeless cat lover Kita Yōsuke looks at how the mousers have taken over.
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Going to the Dogs and Cats: Two of Japan’s Favorite PetsNippon.com Staff

Just like other people all around the world, many Japanese have plenty of reasons for wanting a pet, including a desire for companionship and a love of animals. Even while busy schedules, expense, and space restraints in crowded cities such as Tokyo present considerable hurdles to ownership, many residents manage to find space in their homes and hearts to keep a furry comrade. And while this comra…
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Five Famous AnimalsNippon.com Staff

There is a diverse range of wildlife across Japan’s great geographical sweep, from brown bears and white-tailed eagles in Hokkaidō to coconut crabs and habu snakes in Okinawa. Foxes and tanuki are famous in legends as magical animals, while the bathing monkeys of Nagano Prefecture have carved out a more recent name for themselves. But beyond the species level, there are also individual creatures t…
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Putting Fido Through His Paces: The World’s First Pedometer for Dogs

Fujitsu has developed the world’s very first dog pedometer, “Wandant.” (The name is a punning reference to “wan,” the sound Japanese dogs supposedly make when they bark.) The pendant-style pedometer attaches to the dog’s collar and, in conjunction with cloud computing, helps owners to monitor exercise and look after their dogs' health.
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