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Japanese Perceptions of LifeIshi Hiroyuki

A complete examination of wildlife in Japan must include consideration of the Japanese people’s views of the fauna. In this article, Ishi Hiroyuki examines Japanese attitudes towards animals and the historical origins of those attitudes.

Cloaked in White: Three Japanese Old-Growth Trees in WinterTakahashi Hiroshi

A blanket of snow provides an enchanting backdrop to admire the slumbering forms of towering old-growth trees. Below we visit three of these impressive giants at the height of winter.

Seeking Balance with the BearIshi Hiroyuki

The Japanese black bear (Ursus thibetanus japonicus) has vanished from the islands of Shikoku and Kyūshū in southwestern Japan, but on the main island of Honshū they remain plentiful and in some areas pose a serious threat to farm crops and human life. We see here a conflict between humans and wildlife that runs deeper than the simple dichotomy of hunting and preservation.

One Dead, 11 Injured as Volcano Erupts in Eastern Japan (News)

Kusatsu, Gunma Pref., Jan. 23 (Jiji Press)—A volcano in Gunma Prefecture, eastern Japan, erupted on Tuesday, killing one Self-Defense Forces member and injuring 11 other people, including ski resort visitors. The eruption occurred on 2,171-meter-tall Mount Motoshirane, one of volcanoes collectively called Mount Kusatsu-Shirane, at around 9:59 a.m. (12:59 a.m. GMT), the Meteorological Agency sai…

Rebellion of the WildIshi Hiroyuki

So far, this series has focused on wild bird species and their recovery from near-extinction. But protection can at times go too far, upending the natural balance and sending animal populations to dangerous levels. Japan’s deer offer a prime example of this.

Japan Facing Extremely Poor Catches of Baby Eels (News)

Tokyo, Jan. 17 (Jiji Press)—Catches of juvenile Japanese eels have been extremely low in the current fishing season, raising concerns among eel farmers. Baby eel catches in December last year are believed to have totaled only 0.2 ton, down sharply from a year before, according to the Fisheries Agency. If the situation continues, catches in the 2018 season, from last month to April, may slip …

Meteors Rain Down on Mount Fuji (Japan in Photos)

The Geminid meteor shower can be seen streaking down on Mount Fuji in this composite photo of the annual celestial event. The image was made from nine photos taken at a campsite in Fujinomiya, Shizuoka Prefecture, over a two-hour period in the early morning of December 14, 2017. (© Jiji)

Slumbering Giants : Three Old-Growth Trees in Early WinterTakahashi Hiroshi

The onset of winter is a special time to admire the raw, robust figures of old-growth trees. Stripped of their mantle of foliage, these giants show their impressive, unadorned forms shaped through countless years of sun, wind, rain, and snow. Below we visit three ancient titans at the start of their long wintertime sleep.

The Return of the Crested IbisIshi Hiroyuki

Kin, Japan’s last crested ibis born in the wild, died in 2003. Her demise did not mean the extinction of the species, however, as researchers in China were successfully breeding other wild crested ibises that they had discovered earlier. This article explores the relationship between the Japanese people and the crested ibis, Nipponia nippon.

Autumn Crown of Gold: Three Ancient Japanese Ginkgo TreesTakahashi Hiroshi

Ichō (ginkgo) provide spectacular late autumn leaf viewing, putting on vivid displays of golden foliage. Japanese have long valued this unique, hardy species of tree, and impressive old-growth specimens are found across the country in such settings as Shintō shrines, public parks, and along roadways. Below we visit three ancient specimens decked out in their seasonal yellow splendor.

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