Tsubame: Hirundo rustica

Everybody can see some very pretty birds at the beginning of spring in Japan . These birds are swallow . Scientific name of swallow is Hirundo rustica . The common Japanese name for this species is Tsubame and the old Japanese call it “ Tsubakuro ” or “Tsubakurame”. The swallow proves useful to farmers because the swallow eats harmful insects . It is said that “If the swallow flies lower , it rains.” The swallow are about eighty types in the world . Swallow are five types in Japan .

Swallows are distributed the northern hemisphere. Swallows come to Japan in early spring , and these comes from Northeast Asia or Southeast Asia in the winter. Those swallows pass the winter in Northeast Asia or Southeast Asia . But some swallows pass the winter in Japan . Those swallows pass the winter from the center of Japan to Western Japan . The swallow is summer bird.

The Swallow has a total length of about 17 centimeters. The back is Indigo black. The throat and forehead are red . The abdomen is white . The swallow has big wings and a long tail. The swallow flies at an air speed of about 60 kilometers per hour and moreover , it is flying very well but The swallow doesn’t get down the ground much . Because the swallow has short leg so it can’t walk well. The Swallow eats insects . While the swallow is flying , the swallow drinks water . The average life expectancy of swallow is 18 months because chick’s death rate is high , but the primary life is 7 years .

Swallow’s nest is made from the dead grass , mud and saliva . For example swallows make a nest under the eaves because they protect theirself from the crow . Swallows lay about 5 eggs at a time , but the death rate of their chicks is about 65 percent and so almost all chicks can’t become adult birds . It takes the swallow three weeks to leave the nest . The swallow makes a roost in the flood plain along a river or the reed field of the irrigation pond . We see a mass of swallows there . The number of swallows in the roost is several thousand .

We can see swallows in Kochi . We can see the nest of the swallow in the ceiling of the car park . Many swallows are flying everywhere in Kochi . If you can find the time , could you look at the sky ? You may see the swallow .

Eringi: Pleurotus eryngii

Eringi is a kind of mushroom. It is a relatively new kind of mushroom. It is famous cooking ingredient Also, mushroom is used as medicine. It is used in Chinese medicine mainly. However, there is the bad aspect by human. It is a kind of having poison. Poisonous mushrooms are said to have 5000 species in Japan. It is eat when come out various symptom. However, it is judged very difficult have a poison. Insects eat mushrooms.

The mushrooms increase by sporogenesis. At first a spore is formed. When it grows up, it jump out. Then land in the favorite place. After that it germinates and grows up. This is a child of the mushrooms. When this grows up, it became a mushroom.

Eringi is cultivation performed in Japan. It explained the procedure. At first, prepare the lump bacteria of Eringi. It soaked into water. If around 30 minutes pass , it throw away water. It put in a bowl. It added some water. Set it to 20 degrees Celsius.

Mycelium occurs a few days. 7 ~ 10 days increases the mycelium. Process will appear in a few days later. That child will mushroom. Then grow over time. After some growth, give the air. Can be harvest a few days later. This can be done at home. It was first held in Aichi in 1990. The first was a series of failures. But now is different. Artificial cultivation of mushroom has been established.

Mushrooms grow in the shade and moist. Most of mushrooms grow itself in the ground. However, some mushrooms grow itself inside the ground. The mushrooms shape is different.

However, mushroom has a very important role in ecosystem. Mushroom belongs to fungi. The fungi can analyze the low molecular compound. Other creatures, low molecular compound cannot analyze. Without fungi,influence reflected on ecosystem. The mushroom is very important by ecosystem. Also, insect that nest in mushrooms such as snails and flies and ants. An ant, grows mushrooms. The ant is called Hakiriari. They are grows mushrooms. Then, to feed it. These cultivation are done by most of mushrooms.

Eringi comparatively cheaply in a supermarket. Eringi is well edible in Japan. It is import or a cultivation article for sale almost. More Eringi grows wild around the Mediterranean Sea. Also, Eringi grow wild in the steppe climate area.
However, Japan has been actively cultivating it. In Kochi, it can be found at Kuroshio Town, which is very famous for Eringi cultivation.

This mushroom has weak fragrance. However, it is filling and therefore it is very popular. It is used for French food and Italian food. Eringi has value very high nutritional value that it retains even when heated. It is eating when can a lifestyle-related disease prevent. Also, it is effective in diet therapy. Surprisingly, it is also effective in preventing cancer.

Kombu: kelp

Kombu is a kind of marine algae. Marine algae have many many species, only a few of which are eaten. Of those, Kombu is the most popular in Japan. Also it is used for medical cure. Kombu is about 13 kinds for the price and the taste very various. The kombu is eating only in Asia.

The kombu increases by sporogenesis. The sporogenesis is performed Kombu, Fungi, alga and mushroom. The procedure of the reproduction, at first a spore grows. The spore has two hair and can move freely. The spore sticks to underwater rocks. The spore which stuck grows up and forms a gametophyte. There is male and female to agametophyte. The female forms an egg, and the male forms sperm. These are fertilized and grow up when formed Kombu. The kombu grows up at the place where strongly wave and deep sea. It grows up from the summer to the autumn.

The kombu affects ecosystem. For example, purify the water of the sea, become the hideout of the fish, become the spawning ground of the fish. However, in late years the number of kombu decreases. There are some the reasons. The first is urbanization. In late years the construction of the shore performed frequently by urbanization. The shore disappears by concrete every year. Therefore the homes of the kombu decrease. The second reason is global warming. When water temperature too high, the kombu cannot grow up. Therefore the global warming is crisis for the kombu. In addition, big influence is reflected on ecosystem when kombu decreases. The kombu is important for both a person and ecosystem in this way.

Mainly Kombu is used for broth. Kombu broth is very very nice taste and very transparent, so it is used for many Japanese food. Broth used for Iriko, Katuobushi, besides Kombu in Japan . But it is liked mainly in western Japan and is suitable for Oden, Udon. So used for many Japanese food. Also used for Tradition food in Japan. For example , Nimame , Aemono , Sunomono , Tsukudani.

Kombu’s volume of production is 120,000t in Japan. Total 65% is natural Kombu. Total 35% is cultured Kombu. Nature Kombu is very nice taste but very price is high so it is used mainly by restaurant. On the other hand, cultured Kombu’s taste is inferior to natural.

Nature Kombu is mainly harvested in Hokkaido. The Kombu is mainly harvested in Hokkaido. The Kombu of Hokkaido has good quality. High-quality Kombu, most grow wild in Hokkaido. Culture Kombu is not affected by nature and can stable harvest it.

The culture technology of the kombu began in the Edo era. The culture method of the kombu, At first I bring up kombu seed artificially. It return to the sea and bring up.

Unlike the other culture technology, not give the bait. Therefore made near to nature Kombu. However, it takes around 1 year to completion. Then, harvest it in summer and dry it. It is completed for much time and trouble.

In Kochi, it can be found at Katurahama.

Bata: Orthoptera Caelifera

Locust is a general term for nimalia Arthropoda Insecta Orthoptera Caelifera. In the family along with Pyrgomorphidae Acrididae Tetrigidae and so.

Locusta migratoria

They hop along because their hind legs are well developed and they have ala. The front ala is thin and opaque, while the hind ala is thick and clear. Total length is about 35mm ~ 65mm and body color is protectively colored green and brown. This color matches with their habitat, but, in high population density, it becomes a blackish color.

They live in dry grassy areas in the Tropic and Temperate zones. Like the Katydids and the cricket, it is an Orthoptera and has a similar form but is actually quite different. Compared with the Katydids and the cricket, the locust’s rearing environment is an arid zone, short plants and open ground. Other example, the locust’s body is long in front and behind, ear in the chest, the female’s ovipositor isn’t long, and most of the kinds female is bigger than male.

They are incomplete metamorphosis. (Egg – larva – Imago) Eggs is laid in shallow earth. When larva. they have no ala but as imagoes develop ala, females get an ovipositor. In Japan, imagoes die in winter so, eggs stay over the winter.

Migratory locust often cause severe damage to agricultural areas. The plural locust is called Migratory. They are often locust plague and eat a lot of grass. No grass land cause many disaster. These past few years, it aren’t many examples like this in Japan because of agricultural chemicals and breeding environment’s destruction.

There arre about 5,500 kinds of locust in the world, and about 445 kinds of locust in Japan. Locusta migratoria, length about 40mm ~ 70mm, body color is green or brown and, live in grassland. Gastrimargus marmoratus, length about 40mm ~ 60mm, body color is green or brown and, black markings for its hind leg. The Acrida cinerea, lengths is about 50mm ~ 80mm, there is a difference in female and male. For example, length (females are bigger than males), jump (females can’t jump so far), and male scan chirp.

We can see many locust every day, but don’t know well about them.

Tsugasarunokosikake: Fomitopsis pinicoia

This bracket mushroom is said to look like a stool for a monkey is hard and woody and they grow from the trunk of a tree or large shrub. It is a member of the “polypore,” or bracket mushroom group. T Its scientific name is the Fomitopsis pinicoia . Japanese name is tugasarunokosikake.

The Fomitopsis pinicoia thickness is 15 centimeter and diameter is 30 centimeter. these big polypores can grow to a thickness of 20 centimeter diameter to 50 centimeter Its surface color is reddish brown or grayish brown . they are a wood rotting fungus. As a result, forestry workers dislike them . A kind of polypore is sold as a health food an the Internet . A kind of polypore is used a herbal medicine . Polypore has diuretic effect and is used in medicine. Coriolus versicolor has suppressed cancer .

There are five varieties of the family Polyporaceae: Phellinus igniarius, Rigidoporus ulmarius , Coriolus versicolor Laricifomes officinalis and Fomitopsis pinicoia. Their family belongs to the order of Aphyllophrales, class Hymenomycetes, phylum Basidiomcota, kingdom Fungii.

Phellimus igniarius is diameter 10 ~ 25 centimeter and biggest is diameter 50 centimeter. Fomitopsis pinicoia is smaller then the Rigidoporus ulmarius . Coriolus versicolor is diameter 2 ~ 5 centimeter and a thickness of 1 ~ 2 millimeter . Its surface color is black , grayish brown and yellowish brown . Their color are Various ring spot .

Laricifomes officinalis is 15 centimeter tall . A cold remedy and A stomachache remedy are in afolk medicine . but Laricifomes officinalis has a poison .

Its distributioh is a conifer of trunk or a conifer of dfallen tree in north hemisphere Temperate Zone .

In Kochi, Fomitopsis olivacea does white rot to Japanese chinquapin . Fomitopsis olivaceae is found in Tosa City . T Mt. Ishidate is a good place to see polypore.

Ginbuna: Carassius langsdorfii

Carassius langsdorfii (Ginbuna)

Carassius langsdorfii is a fresh water fish which grows to about 30 centimeters in 4 to 5 years. Carassius langsdorfii belongs Carassius, Carassius of Cyprinidae, it is belongs Cypriniformes, Cypriniformes of Osteichthyes. Almost all Japanese people called them “Ginbuna”, few people call them “mabuna”. Carassius langsdorfii total length is 15 to 30 centimeters. Carassius rangsdorfii’s body get narrow at back of starting buttock fin. “fubunkinanjo” is 4 , “bunkinanjo” is 15 to 18 at dorsal fin. “fubunkinanjo” is 3, “bunkinanjo” is 5 at buttock fin.

Carassius langsdorfii usually grows in Japanese river where flow is mild. Carassius langsdorfii live in ponds and lower of rivers. Carassius langsdorfii is omnivorous fish, for example they eat zoo plankton adhesion seaweed and water animals that live in bottom. The other,

Carassius langsdorfii eats killifish.

Breeding or spawning on be water-weed in spring. But Carassius langdorfii’s reproduction is divided two types, one is asexual reproduction the other is sexual reproduction. Carassius langsdofii is mostly female. It is a kind of asexual reproduction. First, female Carassius langsdorfii produce her coulomb. Afterward, coulomb grows up and goes through this reproduction. But, Carassius langsdorfii’s sexual reproduction is special too. First, female Carassius langsdorfii

blows egg. Then, male Carassius spray sperm. For example, Carassius buergeri subsp called “kinbuna”, Carassius auratus subsp< called “nagabuna” and Carassius buergeri grandoculis called “nigorobuna”are included in Carassius. Afterward, Carassius langdorfii’s female flies are born and grow up. When do Carassius langdorfii

Carassius langsdorfii are used in cultivation with carp in reservoirs and a follow fields in Ueta-city, Toumi city and Saku-city in Nagano. Lately, Carassius langsdorfii are not used for food too. But, at present, Carassius langsdorfii are used for food in Hachirougata-town in Akita. Carassius langsdorfii’s source is Tone-river in Chiba, Biwa-lake in Shiga and so on. Main recipe is roastsd fish sprinkled with salt, “kanro-ni”, soup and sashimi. But, it must not be eaten as is saw, because Carassius langsdorfii is Intermediate host of Gnathostoma spinigerum. There are local specialties called “funamiso” in Aichi and Gifu. Besides, there are local specialties called “funameshi” in Okayama. Carassius langsdorfii is plain taste. Besides, local specialties called “teppai” in Kagawa. Carassius langsdorfii

is a popular fish for sport fishermen.

Carassius langsdorfii is a very interesting fish because, Carassius langsdorfii is almost all female. We can see Carassius langsdorfii at Kitagawa-town, Ino-town, Kahoku-town, Noichi-town in Kochi. We can see Carassius langsdorfii at kochi in October for April. Asexual reproduction occurs almost exclusively in single-celled organism, but Carassius langsdorfii is one of the creatures that do asexual reploduction. What’s more, Carassius langsdorfii do sexual reproduction too. It is wonderful. Carassius langsdorfii are eaten various regions.

Carassius rangsdorfii are loved in various region in Japan. Carassius langsdorfii do asexual reproduction. But there are one problem that problem is speciation. Asexual reproduction equal no-change fly’s character. So Crassius langsdorfii can’t manage for change of nature. It is disadvantage at reflection of species. It’s interesting to see Carassius langsdorfii.

Asakusanori: Porphyra tenera Kjellman

Asakusanori is Japanese name and it is called Amanori.This seaweed was harvested and processed in Asakusa early in the Edo period,it is the origin of Japanese name.This seaweed’s scientific name is Porphyra tenera Kjellman.

Asakusanori is Red seaweed, and a kind of amanori.It is genus of laver ,tleve are 30 kind of in japan.It is difficult for amanori to classify the seed because the figure is simple.Moreover, the figure changes responding to the environment.Adaptability to the environmental condition is wide,because as for the amanori, the body structure is easy.If it grows on the shore reef in the open sea where the wave is rough in the high salinity,it is likely to grow in the basin shallow water of a quiet wave in the low salinity.Most a growing vigorous thickly from winter to spring.it is It an alga for one year. But it declines in early summer.

Asakusanori’s total size is from 5 to 30cm,the width is from 1 to 15cm. Asakusanori is the typical of seaweed species.It is distributed in the Inland Sea,Pacific coast in the main island of Japan,Kyusyu,the Korean Peninsula,china,from the Tropical zone to the Frigid zone.

It is designated as an endangered species .The habitat decreases sharply by the environment’s that is appropriate for natural growth being lost.This cause for example land reclamation reclamation water pollution.Moreover,the shell in bottom of the sea is buried in mud and the growth condition of the trichome period has deteriorated.The habitat is found from a recent investigation, it is eight places in the whole country.But,there is no protection of a wild population. A natural purple laver is not gathered in various parts of Japan now. The purple laver has decreases on a nationwide scale. It is a cultivation kind of susabinori; Porphyra yezoensis Ueda.Asakusanori is the cultivation all one fishing. It is cultivated in nationwide various places. Aquaculture Asakusanori used for food. Aquaculture is winter in every place and it collected when grew about 20cm.

In summer this laver body is like a thread, and it digs a hole in the shell and lives ther. The trichome forms the sporangium and discharges the husk spore. It is parasitic in the rock, the tree, and the stake of the bamboo etc. It becomes a foliaceous body and it grows thickly in autumn.The other type becomes a foliaceous body. It is parasitic, and grows up when a single spore is discharged from the part of a foliaceous body in the surrounding area. The foliaceous body grows in the last ten days of September, and the period of maturity is from December to February. It grows especially in the basin and the vicinity of the mouth of a river where nourishment is abundant. Many of foliaceous bodies are monoecious but dioecious occasionally.The carpogonium and the sperm uteri are formed when maturing. When the sperm connects it to the carpogonium, the carpogonium is enlarged, divided, and discharges the spore of carpospore.

The cell is one layer and filmy. An asteroidal plastid pyrenoid (centers in the chloroplast where carbon dioxide is fixed) is seen in each cell.

Asakusanori is on the verge of extinction. But Amanori are found in Kochi along the coastline all winter.

Akame: Lates japonicus

There are different Japanese names for this species: Mehikari in Tokusima, Minouo in Kochi, Maruka in Miyazaki , and Kawanube in Shibusi bay, located southern of Kyushu in Japan.

The mature fish sizes are about 1m over and body colors are silver overall but its back is ash brown. The fish species are the biggest of all freshwater fish in Japan. The size of the largest Akame in Japan is 1m37cm and weight is 30kg. The fish body colors become beautifully black in all when getting excited. The Lates japonicus have long second buttock fin. The fish under jaw protrudes more than the maxilla. The first fin is thorn fin and second fin is flexible fin and buttock fin is thorn fin. Because of light reflection, the fish eyes shines. Because light reflects as for the color of blood, the eyes are red, so the fish Japanese name is Akame. The young fish colors are black brown and there are some yellow and white stripe and point on the head and body. The fish have white meat. The fish face near the lateolabrax japonicus but young fish of Akame tolls are toller than young fish of lateolabrax japonicus.

The fish taxonomy are kingdom-Animalia and phylum-Chordata and class-Actinopterygii and order- Perciformes and family-Latidae and genus-Lates and species-L.japonicus. The scientific name is Lates japonicus Katayama et Taki, 1984. There are one family and one genus and one species in Japan. Family-Latidaes compose three genus and eleven species in Africa and India. Related species of Lates japonicus are Lates calcarifer and Lates niloticus and Psammoperca waigiensis.

The mature fish inhabit shallow ocean and occasionally inhabit the mouth of rivers and bays in brackish water range.

The fish range is the black stream and Pacific Ocean side of Japan. The fish is an endemic species. Mainly the fish can see in Kochi and Miyazaki.

The fish are an oviparous animal and carnivorous animal. They eat small fish and shrimp and crab. The mature fish eat carp about 30cm. The fish come in to lay from June to August. The young fish are about 4mm. The young fish come to the mouth of a river from spring to autumn and inhabit Zostera marina place. They grow until about 10cm and body becomes black and white stripes. Shortly afterward, they leave the mouth of a river. But it doesn’t know whether the fish lay eggs in river or sea. The fish come to mouth of a river, because a parasite adheres to the fish body by osmotic pressure. The fish are in Red Data Book, because the range of inhabit is narrow and the fish is small populations. The fish are NT in Tokushima, DD in Ehime, and CR in Kochi in Red Date Book.

The fish is best to see in Summer season in Urado bay,Kochi,. But recently Urado bay in Kochi is contaminated, so the fish are decreasing. So you may be able to see them in Shimanto River in summer rather than Urado bay in summer. The fish can frequently be seen in Shimanto River when the water level of the river after rain goes up. The fish can be seen in the Kasturahama aquarium.

Tonbi: Milvus migrans

The Black Kite’s Japanese name is Tobi and the scientific name is Milvus migrans. They are birds which are migratory birds or resident birds. They are raptors and Accipitrida . So they are bigger than almost all other raptor species. The males are 58.5 cm long and the females are 68.5 cm long. Females are bigger than males. They have wingspread of 150~160 cm. Their body color is blown and beaks are sharp and curved.

They are five varieties of the subfamily hawk. Milvus migrans milvus, Milvus migrans lineatus, Milvus migrans parasitus, Milvus migrans grovinda and Milvus migrans affinis . Milvus migrans milvus live in Europe. Milvus migrans lineatus live in Central Asia. Milvus migrans parasitus live in Africa. Milvus migrans grovinda live in India. Milvus migrans affinis live in Australia. M.m.milvus and M.m.lineatus are migratory bird, while M.m are parasites, M.m.grovinda and M.m.affinis are resident birds. Migratory birds live in cool temperature zones. On the other hand, resident birds live in warm temperature zones. Migratory birds can’t live in cold season. So they move to warm country.

Black kite’s habitats are mountain, seaside, harbor, rivers, agricultural land, lake and marshes and city. They live in various habitat. Because they have ability that suit the environment. They live especially in harbors.

Black kite eat prey type or omnivorous type. Prey type live in the suburbs. They eat animals, carcasses, flogs, lizards, snakes and fishes. On the other hand omnivorous type live in the city. They eat animals, carcasses, flogs, lizards, snakes and fishes. In addition, they eat garbage and people’s lunches. There are many people and many foods in the city so there is lots of garbage. Black kites are suit for the environment so they are omnivorous. Black kite glide using convection in the sky. There action is soaring. Soaring is to glide to using convection and flap in its wing. They look for bait when they glide in the sky. Next, they dive and catch the bait. From the outset they are very wary. But they are tames to people recently. So they rob food from people. People are injured by them. Black kites die often because their food and danger prediction ability very low.

Black kite doesn’t have fine brain and learning ability, so can’t predict danger in well. And they glide useing convection in the sky. So they are cause of birdstrike. Birdstrike is accident and black kite is caught into the air plane’s engine. There aren’t good statistics on this.

Black kites live and are found in Kochi. They like to get bait in easy places. So they find easy fishing port or rural areas. Their song is “Peep―hyolololo”. If you want to look them, you should go seaside or rural areas, for example Usa, Susaki, Muroto, Asizuri, Katsurahama Motoyama-chou, Otoyo –chou are good. Especially Usa is famous fishing ground. So there is gotten many fishes by fisherman. Black kites aim for many fishes. It is near Kochi city and you get there in thirty minutes by car. Probably you can find many black kites with in a short distance. You can find them in others places too.

Seiyou tanpopo: Taraxacum officinale

You can say dandelions are truly familiar plant and see them almost everyday from spring to autumn. Taraxacum officinale, one of dandelions, belonging to the chrysanthemum family are a native European plant and have become a naturalized Japanese plant. They grow in waysides and so on. They are different from the native species in that its bract is warped in flowering season. They bloom yellow or white flower all the year around except winter.

Taraxacum officinale are classified in the chrysanthemum family, sympetalae, vascular plant. The chrysanthemum family plants are known as the most evoluted and divided plant. Peculiarity of the chrysanthemum family plants is that gathering small flowers look like one flower. About 400 species of Taraxacum mainly live between the Temperate Zone and subtropics and about 20 species of them live in Japan.

Taraxacum officinale originally lived in Europe, but spread to each place of Japan after the importation as food in the Meiji Era. They live in road, wayside and wasteland. It seems that they resist competition because they live in place that other species grow. They have many systems, for example, the small type living in lawn, the big type for food and each of them grows according to the environment in Europe. The reason why they spread all around Japan is many varieties of them was introduced again and again. The type lives in lawns, the type grows in wastelands, the type lives in meadows where tall plants live are different in strategy, so, it is better that you think they are separate each other if they live adjoining place.

Taraxacum officinale bloom flower for a long period regardless of season. Its flower stalk is straight, don’t grow branches, grow capitulum to apex. Its aggregate fruits are spread by wind. If they are cut and lost the over ground part, they regenerate the leaves by nutriment in the root. They take apogamy, so seeds ripen by oneself in spite of pollen. Therefore , they have strong propagative power and widened the habitat. At the area lingering a rural landscape, the native species have a power. So, it can be said that taraxacum officinale are a indicator species for urbanization. In Europe or the Middle East, taraxacum officinale have been eaten for a long time. Though they are a little bitter, they be eaten for salad. Moreover, its dehydrated roots are known as a substitute for coffee and have effect on an increase in one’s appetite, improvement in function of the liver and so on. In a part of U.S.A., people utilize its flower petals for materials of the wine. As a medicinal herb, they work on uric disease, anemia, jaundice, neurosis.

In Kochi, we can watch taraxacum officinale easily. It may they are most popular plant.

Enoki: Flammulina velutipes

Please picture the Enoki mushroom. You maybe picture a white mushroom with a slender body because that’s what they look like at the store. The enoki mushroom is different from other mushroom. But if you think that enoki sold in the stores are the original Enoki mushroom, they are not.


Enoki mushroom have been eaten by people since old times. So they have many names. Enoki mushroom is called Enokidake, Nametake, Namesusuki and Yukinosita in Japan. Many people call that white and slender mushroom is Enoki and put Enoki mushroom which are seasoned into bottle is Nametake.

Enoki mushroom’s scientific name is Flammulina velutipes. And they are one of kishimeji family (Tricholomataceae), such as shiitake mushroom and matsutake mushroom. They are kind of wood-rotting fungus.

Enoki mushroom are gregarious and parasitic on dead trees and stumps of deciduous trees or sprout up around them on ground after it rains well from early spring to late fall. And they can sprout up in snow so it is called Yukinosita.

Original Enoki mushroom are completely different in appearance from the store version. Original Enoki mushroom is normal mushroom shape. The cap of Enoki mushroom has a surface yellowish brown or dark brown and sliminess and first lamella is white then light brown, it becomes globular shape next grow horizontal. The stem of Enoki mushroom is yellowish brown or blackish brown and have short hair. Their smell is like iron rust.

Store Enoki mushroom is white at the whole. And the cap of there is much smaller than original and the stem is longer and slender than original. Why are store Enoki mushroom are different Original Enoki mushroom? The Enoki mushrooms in stores are grown by mushroom cultivation. And they are grown in no light, like bean sprouts. Fungi don’t need light to live and grow. But it is profitable on light to throw their spore to a long way. Because they grow to get to light, they are slender and long body.

If mushroom sprout up in your garden in winter, it may be Enoki mushroom . But most people don’t think they are Enoki mushroom. And if you try to teach them, many people would not believed. Why don’t they believe? I think that we are not interested in things they put into thier mouths.

Tanuki: Nyctereutes procyonoides

Since the old days, Japanese people have had friendly feelings toward tanuki, the raccoon dog. Its taxonomy is raccoon dog genus, dog family and scientific name is Nyctereutes procyonoides. It length is 50~60cm,weight is 3~10kg and life is 3~5years.

The raccoon dog

It distribution is Russia, China and Japan. Recently, raccoon dog lives in Poland, Germany, Finland, France and Italy. It was imported for fur, and has since gone wild.Also, Japanese raccoon dog has two species. First is Ezo raccoon dogs in Hokkaido. Second is Hondo raccoon dogs in Honshu, Kyushu and Shikoku. Ezo raccoon dog’s fur and limbs are longer than Hondo raccoon dog’s. The raccoon dog is seen villages mountains, superhighways and dwellings in Kochi. These are Hondo raccoon dogs.

Their shape is thickset, short paw, thick tail, gray-brown body color and black around eyes.

It is nocturnal and it lives in forest. It lives singly or in pair. Pairs continue till one partner die. Also, it doesn’t have a specific territory. Raccoon dog is omnivorous, eating for example mice, frogs, birds, eggs, fish, insects and fruit, etc.

It is of the carnivorous , or cat, order whose common ancestor lived in trees in the forest, but left the habitat of grassy plain to forests to look for game. It evolved into various species. The tanuki is is dog genus.Then raccoon dog adapted to life in the forest. It retains the characteristics of primitive dog genus animal.

In the modern era, raccoon dog was almost driven to extinction because of indiscriminate hunting.The raccoon dog was over hunted by people for fur product. Recently mountains and forests are declining, so raccoon dog are seen at the city. They live in drains, and eat the kitchen garbage. As a result they are increasingly involved in traffic accidents all over Japan.

By the way, the raccoon dog has many local name. For example, in farm village around Kanto people call them Mujina. Other local names include Anappo, Kainehori, Danza, Tonchibo, Hachimujina, Banbuku, Bo-zu, Mameda and Yomono. These names are based on action and appearance.

Also there is a famous Japanese expression using raccoon dog, “Tanukineiri”. It means pretending to be asleep. This language origin is from when the hunter shoots a gun, and the raccoon dog was so surprised by the report of a gun that it fainted. The hunter thought he had downed a raccoon dog, and he was careless. Just then, raccoon dog wake up and run away. This old story shows cowardly character of raccoon dog.

Raccoon dog is very popular among Japanese people!

Ayu: Plecoglossus altivelis altivelis

In summer, if you go to upper reaches of a river, you may see many anglers who have very long fishing rods. Probably, they are Ayu fishing. Ayu is famous in Japan. Most Japanese know Ayu live clean rivers at least.

Ayu have many relations. First, we eat Ayu. For esample, Sioyaki, Tempura, Segosi, Sabazusi and Uruka. But Ayu may have parasitic which are called Yokogawakyuutyuu. So if you eat Ayu, you should not eat it raw. In addition to this, it is Ayu fishing. There are caught by decoy and fry-fishing. But there are closed season for fishing from May to November and we must buy license fishing. And goods are very expensive.

Ayu’s scientific name is Plecoglossus altivelis altivelis. They belong to Osmeriformes like smelt and Japanese smelt. They are related to koukakugyorui.

Ayu fry live in sea and downriver. They eat plankton and insect which live or fall in the water. They hatch from two weeks and they are clear in body so we can their beating heart and air bladder. When they become ten millimeters, they begin to be fragrant like watermelon or Oriental melon. On April and May, they get color and the teeth become like spit. And they go up river.

Adult Ayu live in middle and upper reaches of rivers and eat algae. They are gray and green. Young Ayu swim together but bigger Ayu make territory in places where there are many diatom. This territory is one meter in every direction and if others enter the territory, they deliver an attack by bodily impact. In fall, they become orange and black. It is nuptial coloration. From February to September they swim down river. Then they lay eggs in shallows where there are many pebble stones and sand in group and die. So they end their lifetimes in one year.

Much Ayu live in Kochi rivers because Kochi’s river are clean. Rivers which Ayu live in Kochi are Shimanto River, Yoshino River, Niyodo River, Monobe River and Kagami River. So if you are interested in Ayu, go to the upper reaches of a river and fish Ayu.

Ayu have a relation with people from old times. But wild Ayu are decreasing by people impact. Ayu cannot live in muddy rivers because algae cannot photosynthesize in muddy rivers. Releasing Ayu into the river is done in Japan. It is good thing. But I don’t like this because it may mix alien species and origin. So I think we must keep clean river. If wild Ayu are not seen river, it is very lonely.