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A Thousand Cranes Take FlightIshi Hiroyuki

The red-crowned crane has long been revered in Japan as an auspicious bird. Once the cranes could be found throughout the country, but overhunting in the early years of Japan’s modern era decimated their numbers until they disappeared altogether on the main island of Honshū. Fortunately, extensive conservation efforts have brought back the beloved bird from near extinction. Where at one point there were only 33 red-crowned cranes confirmed in Japan, there are now 1,800.
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In Photographic Pursuit of Hokkaidō’s Rare Owls (Photos)Tanaka Hiroshi

The shimafukurō, one of the world’s largest owl species, was once thought extinct in Japan and is still considered endangered. Tanaka Hiroshi has been focusing his camera on these magnificent raptors in his native Hokkaidō for over two and a half decades.
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Naming the PandasNippon.com Staff

A panda cub at Tokyo’s Ueno Zoo has been seizing Japanese headlines ever since its birth in June 2017. Amid much fanfare, its name was announced on September 25 as Shan Shan. Or should that be Xiang Xiang? As symbols of Sino-Japanese cooperation, the animals’ names fall into something of a gray area between the two languages. Ueno Zoo now has three pandas. The cub’s mother is Shin Shin and the …
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Taiji in Wakayama Prefecture: The World in Miniature

Filmmaker Sasaki Megumi’s latest work was seven years in the making. A Whale of a Tale is a documentary about the town of Taiji in Wakayama Prefecture, notorious for its annual dolphin slaughter. The film sheds new light not only on the controversy about Japan’s whaling program but also on the nature of the clashes and polarizations between different worldviews in recent years.
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Wind and Rain: Three Ancient Trees in Typhoon SeasonTakahashi Hiroshi

Autumn brings stunning shades of foliage. But it is also the bearer of typhoons, those age-old and ruthless scourges of the forest. Ancient trees in regions where storms frequently pass have over the centuries girded themselves against the tempests by sending their roots out broad and deep and strengthening their limbs against the wind and rain. In our ongoing series on old-growth trees, we visit three venerable specimens that have been shaped by typhoons.
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Japanese Natural Farming Guru Kawaguchi Yoshikazu

For decades now, Kawaguchi Yoshikazu has been challenging conventional agricultural wisdom by rejecting not only chemicals but also machinery, organic fertilizer, and tillage. We asked Kawaguchi to share his wisdom on natural farming and stewardship of the planet.
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The Recovery of the Short-Tailed Albatross: A Preservation Success StoryIshi Hiroyuki

Once believed to be extinct, the short-tailed albatross was rediscovered by meteorological observatory staff on the remote island of Torishima. The discovery set in motion extensive efforts to protect and preserve the species, led by a man who has dedicated his life to the project.
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Islands Apart: Three Ancient Woodland “Castaways”Takahashi Hiroshi

Japan’s far-flung islands are home to an impressive number of kyoju, or old-growth trees. Like the famed Jōmon Sugi on Yakushima, these sentinels of the forest have flourished in the warm climate and fresh ocean air, spreading root and limb over centuries to become burly giants. Below we visit three of these ancient titans.
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The Short-Tailed Albatross: A Majestic Bird Driven to the Brink of ExtinctionIshi Hiroyuki

Its trusting nature and lack of agility on the ground has long made the albatross easy prey for humans. Whole colonies were once massacred for their soft down feathers, driving the species to near-extinction. The first of a set of articles on this bird looks at the early, disastrous history of its interaction with the Japanese.
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Team Making Gaza Garbage into Fuel Wins Japanese-Hosted Contest (News)

Gaza, Aug. 16 (Jiji Press)—A team that developed a device to produce biogas and liquid manure from garbage has won a business contest hosted by young Japanese people in the self-governing Palestinian territory of Gaza. The team, Ecohome, was awarded a prize of ¥500,000. In Gaza, how to dispose of garbage has been a serious social problem amid a shortage of landfill areas. The contest, the se…
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