Red-billed leiothrix:ソウシチョウ

by E. Fukugawa

image00Red-billed leiothrixes is kind of sparrows. They are animals of foreign origin. Originally, they live in India, China, Vietnam, and Myanmar. Now they live in Kanto, Kinki, Chugoku, Shikoku, and Kyushu in Japan. They look so pretty, but they are feared to break the ecosystem. They expel bush warblers.They are “Worst 100 of Japanese aggressive introduced species”.

Description and Taxonomy
Their total length is 14~15cm. The feather of back is green. The neck is yellow. There have red spot in the wing. The bill is red. They twitter in large voice. They eat insects, fruits, and seeds. Their breeding season is April~October. It is comparatively long. It is less than a month to leave the nest from birth, so it is thought that they can breed several times a year.

Range and Ecology
They live in mountain of 1000 meters or less. Especially, they live in growth of trees and bamboo. Originally, they live in India, China, Vietnam, and Myanmar, but, now, they live also in Japan. They make crowd of 20 birds. In autumn, they make crowd with great tits.

Use and Conservation
In Edo era, they were imported for pet. But, they were imported frequently in 1980s from China. They were much imported because it is easy to take care of them, and it is cheap. Since invasive alien species act was enforced, pet shops had many stock of them. Pet shops did not have much money to feed them, so many of them were set free. It is prohibited to raise them from 2005.

Wild Red-billed leiothrixes may break ecosystem. Specially, it is said that bush warblers are expelled by them. Wild Red-billed leiothrixes and bush warblers live in same place. The number of Wild Red-billed leiothrixes increase, so bush warblers are expelled. So we have to decrease the number of Wild Red-billed leiothrixes. I think we have to catch some of them and decrease their breeding. But it is cruel that they become extinct, so I want to make environment that both Wild Red-billed leiothrixes and bush warblers can live.

 They are feared to break ecosystem. But many people like looking them, because they are so cute. They are in thicket in many cases, so we can look them near the ground. They make crowd, so we may be able to look many of them.

Hammerhead shark

by S.Y.


image00A common Hammerhead shark is living the coast of the warm seas of the world. And they are living the sea of Kochi. I touched Hammerhead shark with a neighboring fishmonger for the first time in the days of a high school. I was fascinated what attractive. Hammerhead shark is called “Shumokuzame” from the form of the head such as wooden bell hammer ringing Japanese musical instruments in Japan, and in English, the form of the head is likened with a hammer and it is called “Hammerhead shark”.

Description & Taxonomy

Hammerhead shark is a generic name of a shark belonging to order Carcharhiniformes family Sphyrnidae. Nine kinds are known all over the world. Full length is 5 meters, and the big thing becomes 6 meters. Since the head spread horizontally like a hammer and it is sticking out, Hammerhead shark can be recognized immediately. The body back is gray and brown, yellowish-brown, and the ventral is white, there are not the fleck outstanding in particular.

Range & Ecology

Hammerhead shark lives the sea to 100 meters of depth of the water and sometimes sink to 300 meters of depth of the water. They live the offing mainly, but live the coast, a reef, and the estuary. They chase food and may come near a shore. Since eyes stick the both ends of the head, they have a view larger than other sharks, and food can be looked for easily. Hammerhead shark is a strong predator, and they feed not only fish and a cuttlefish and an octopus and Crustacea but also other sharks and prey on one another. Their favorite food is Dasyatis akajei, and they eat to the sting of a caudal fin. They move to high latitude sea area in summer, and come back to the tropical zone when it is winter. Although the life is unknown, probably about 30 years are presumed. Hammerhead shark forms a group uniquely as a shark, and acts. Occasionally the number may amount to hundreds of them.

Use & Conservation

Hammerhead shark is processed into the dried fish called “Maira” and “Tetsuboshi” in Kochi. It matches rice well. The things which is the most terrible for Hammerhead shark is fishery and indiscriminate hunting. It is said that the shark killed by human being becomes from 50 million to 100 million of them a year. In this situation the sharks become extinct. The important thing is Hammerhead shark is only one animal alike other animals, and everyone understands that they are by no means atrocious killer. Hammerhead shark is kept in many aquariums, and their mysterious shape attracts the eyes of many people. And it’s may appeal for the need of the conservation of the shark.


If you want to meet Hammerhead shark in Kochi, let’s go to Niyodogawa after the heavy rain. They come to the mouth of a river of Niyodogawa after the heavy rain. Hammerhead shark is one of a few sharks attacking the human being, but is not ferocious as a rumor because they becomes rarely aggressive. If you come across Hammerhead shark in the sea, please read the action exactly calmly. The probability attacked by a shark is hard to happen than being struck by lightning than being stung by the hornet.

BUNA: Japanese Beech

by S.saiki


Buna is a kind of wood. Buna grows high area of mountain. Shirakami mountain range is famous for Buna. So Buna is one of the important plants. But they were cut down by people after war. Their range is diminished.

Description & Taxonomy

Buna’s scientific name is Fagus crenata Blume. Buna is contained in the group, Fagaceae. In this group, same plants are chestnut, oak and so on. Buna lives in from Hokkaido to Kagoshima. Buna’s color is black or ash gray. Buna’s high is 30 meter.

Range & ecology

Buna lives in japan, Europa, northern America and so on. Mainly, Buna is grown cool environment or high area of mountain. Since Buna is strong to coldness.

Use & Conversation

Buna is perishable and flexible, so it was not used as lumbers. But it was used as firewood. Now, Buna is used as material, for example, furniture, ski plate, plywood, toy and so on. Buna’s nut is eaten by food. Eating animals are many mammals.


Buna’s forest is very beautiful. In the forest, there are many things of plants and creature. So, we can enjoy searching and watching and viewing. Forest’s ground is soft since ground absorbs water. So, it is difficult for us to walk ground. It is interesting to w

The division Ginkgophyta and the species Ginkgo biloba

by Do Ngoc Anh

Ginkgo biloba is a very special and old species of seeding plants. They grow fast and are incredibly strong trees. Four Ginkgo biloba trees in Hiroshima were reported to survive after being bombed. The four trees are still now living and growing well in Hiroshima.


The origin of the group’s name came from a mistake of the first western study who saw it for the first time in Japan, even though the origin of the plants was found in China later. The western study read the Chinese character 銀杏 – the plants’ name as “gin-kyo”. That is a possible way to red it, but it was in fact read “i-choh” in Japanese. The pronunciation “i-choh” in turn is not the way how the character 銀杏 is originally read in Chinese. “i-choh” came from “鸭脚” (Pinyin: yajiao) which means “duck’s feet” and it describes the leaves’ shape and it is not even ever the name of the trees in China.

Description and Taxonomy
Ginkgophyta is a division of plants, which are believed to be derived from “seed ferns” (ferns that bear seeds, literally), diversified on our earth a long time ago (during Jurassic, 190 million years ago) and most of the species went extinct prehistorically. Only Ginkgo biloba from the group stay extant in a small area in China and for this reason, it is called “living fossil”.

Ginkgo have many obviously distinct features so the plants can be easily identified. The plants are large and richly branched. They can grow very high, typically 20m ~ 30m and possibly 50m. With large seeds, the young shoots can survive well from competitions with other plant species during young growth stage. It is said that young shoots will grow straight upward to 10m before they elongate side branches.

There are two different kinds of shoots that can be found on a Ginkgo biloba tree. The elongating “long shoots”, during their first year of growth, produce a series of leaves from widely separated nodes. From the next year, grow on the long shoots the “spur shoots” (or short shoots) which can only grow in length 1 or 2 cm per year. Each spur shoot produces a cluster (up to 16 leaves) of leaves every year.

image01The leaves, as how its Japanese name tells, have the distinct shape of “duck’s feet”. It is also described as fan-shape. The leaves’ veins devide into two, which is what “biloba” means. The lobes of leaves which come from seedlings or long shoots are more deeply bilobed than those which come from spur shoots. The plants are deciduous, that means leaves survive only one growing season. They are initiated after severe winters, perform photosynthesis until they turn into beautiful yellow in autumn before falling out of the trees’ bodies.

The plants are dioecious, which means each tree has either sexuallity of male or female. The seeds grow only on the female tree. Because of the fact that the seeds release stinky smell, male trees can be more favorable to be planted as ornamentals near big streets.

Ginkgo do not have true flowers. Flower-like organs grows on both male and female trees in spring along with leaves from spur shoots. After pollination in March or April (right after initiation of leaves), it takes about 5 months until fertilization, which is around August. Sperms grow from pollen within the female gametophytes. Ginkgo is said to be one of those plants that have largest sperms among plant kingdom. Fertilization is perform around August when the female gametophytes are mature.

Range and Ecology
Ginkgo biloba grows in well-watered temperate area. As it is cultivated all over the world, it can be found even in the Southern hemisphere in Australia now.

Use and Conservation
From a small area in China, it has been cultivated in many parts of the world for it beautiful leaves in autumns. In Eastern Asia, Ginkgo biloba trees are considered sacred trees in Buddhism. It is cultivated in temples’ garden widely among Korea and Japan.

Seeds of Ginkgo biloba are edible. But they can become poisonous due to overeating. Ginkgo biloba produces many kinds of chemical compounds that it played an important role in China herbal medicine. Also, only recently it is seriously studied by western studies.

View suggestion
Ginkgo biloba can be seen widely in Japan, from along sides of big main streets in big cities to the countryside, in temples, school grounds or in private gardens.


by A. Sato


If you come across a dog called a “Tosa Inu” with huge brown body, drooping ears and impressive scary face, you’d better hope he’s a “good boy” in general. The Shikoku Inu is not to be confused with the fighting dog, even though in history it shared the same name.

It is the dog came to be known as the dog to introduce this time, and “Shikoku-Inu” now. This breed is becoming more popular overseas as well, I want you to know about it in addition to the more well-known Shiba-Inu and Kishu-Inu.

Taxonomy & Description

“Shikoku-Inu” is a canine, having the same classification as the Golden retriever Shiba-Inu. The size is from the feet up to the shoulder, from 46cm to 55cm and weighs between 15kg and 23kg. It is darker than Shiba-Inu has a large build, but it is not a particularly big dog.

This breed originated in Kochi Prefecture, was originally created for the purpose of hunting companion in mountain village near the Shikoku Mountains. It had to withstand hunting, and have the stamina and endurance. It is top class also in the Japanese dog. Once upon a time there was a classification system that included Hongawa, Aki, Uwajima varieties of the Shikok-Inu. However, due to mixed breeding, the difference between those varieties is no longer so.

Compared to other Japanese dogs, it has a sharp look, do not mistake many people to see Shepherd and Japanese Wolf. In some2000,fact,talk because they confuse the dog Japanese Wolf Shikoku and also in it was shaking the media.

Others are wary of the dog seems to have the blood of the dog in Japan, but to its master it is faithful. It is also possible that hound dog is also originally Shikoku-Inu, so pretty rough temper, would have to bite to others attention. As a matter of course, depending on how the discipline of the owner, you might become emotionally attached to others, however. If you have any if you have a Shikoku-Inu, owners will not have to study how firmly discipline should not be.

By the way, was called the Shikoku-Inu as “Tosa-Inu” originally. However, dog fighting was produced by hybrid of Shikoku dog and other dogs and like after – other called Japanese-Mastiff was born. Order came to be called “Tosa-Inu” even the dog, in order to distinguish the old Tosa, now referred to as “Shikoku-Inu”.

viewing, ecological

The Shikoku-Inu found only in a specific location is not available. However, compared to dogs such as Akita-Inu and Shiba-Inu, name recognition is quite low. Perhaps you think the Japanese “What is the Shikoku-Inu?” and often also asked to be returned to the same question from the Japanese.

This is because of the strength of will enough to be riding through the mountains and the roughness of temper. Unlike the docile Shiba, this character and stamina, to discipline civilians may be a little difficult when compared to Shikoku-Inu.
However, some ardent enthusiasts. So that no blood of the dog loves to Shikoku, some people have put the power to save. Shikoku-Inu itself, if you are starting from the time of the puppy, does not mean there is a big difference with his personality and other Japanese dog. I think discipline is also so easy to do.

If you want to see a lot of Shikoku dog, you’ll carry your feet and go to the exhibition. Owner has been training in order to show to people, can be seen Shikoku-Inu specific, is awe-inspiring figure.

Also, if you want to see kept, rather than a pet shop, it is recommended that you contact the Preservation Society. Only a low degree of well-known to breed, it is a thriving information between breeders and enthusiasts with each other, and those who rely on sources of information there, you will be able to get a good Shikoku-Inu.

It is a moderate exercise and discipline, that you must keep careful when most. Discipline is natural. Long as any dog, if you keep is more important than anything. Shikoku-Inu is a dog as a hunting dog and was issued birth. Always try to go for a walk twice a day.

In addition, Shikoku dog is so prone to allergic dermatitis. Performed such as brushing and shampoo moderately, please try to prevention.


Shikoku-Inu is quick-tempered dog. The pet, such as Papillon and Chihuahua is not suitable. The orientation watch dog. However, how to discipline, depending on how the shepherd, it is also a gentle personality.The era of now there is no Tosa-Inu is also recorded in Kochi that was using the dog as Shikoku-Inu fighting dogs. 600 years ago, is the time of the 14th century from now. From the length of this history, Shikoku-Inu is going to love.

Common Cuckoo

by. C. Ogawa


This bird is a bird with an interesting habit. Parent does not make a nest. Because parents lay eggs in other bird’s nest. Parent is not parenting. Chicks hatched drop out of the nest all egg and chick. Chicks are not raised by real parents. The scientific name of this bird is Cuculus canorus. It is commonly referred to as cuckoo. Currently this bird is registered in the semi-endangered species.

Description & taxonomy

Total length is 33-36cm. the body is slender. Back from the head and wing is gray. Stomach from the chest is white and fine horizontal stripes. The female is gray part types has made a red-brown.

Cuckoo is animalia, chordate, vertebrata, aves, cuculiformes, cuculidae, cuculus, c.canorus.

Range & ecology

They inhabit the forest and grassland in Africa and Eurasian continent. But in Japan, they inhabit the mountains. And they prefer bright and open environment such as grassland, arable land and small forest. They are flying around May. They can be seen from many north central Honshu.

They are not child-rearing. Their eggs will hatch in other bird’s nest. Their chick hatch in a short time. So they are often faster than chicks born owner of the nest. Chicks hatched drop out of the nest all egg and chick. By doing this chick of cuckoo can be in hog feed. There is another individual that lays eggs in the same nest after an individual has laid an egg in the nest. If two individuals hatched at the same time, they are fit to drop. In addition, there are bird eggs of the cuckoo to eliminate. Eggs of cuckoo are being caught out. In that case they are against and mimic the pattern of other bird’s egg.

Use & conservation

The scientific name of cuckoo is Cuculus canorus. Cuculus is derived from cry. Canorus is latin and it means musical. In Russia, have used in folk music as the voice of sorrow to cry.

Currently this bird is registered in the semi-endangered species. So they are the most important biological protection.

Good luck.


by M. Harada


Yamamomo grow in Shikoku, Kyusyu and Okinawa. Yamamomo height will be 10 meters. Yamamomo have unique smell. Yamamomo’s nut color is blackred. And nut like peach. Nuts is delicious. But nuts are not nonperishable. Since it is not eaten widelybut is consumed locally.

Description & Taxonomy

Yamamomo’s scientific name is Myricarubra. Yamamomo is contained in the group Myricaceae.  Myricagale is contained in the same group. The Japan name is Yati Yanagi. Yati Yanagi live in Hokkaido and Honsyu. And it grows at the place where altitude is high.
Yamamomo’s bark color is ash gray. Yati Yanagi’s bark color is brown.

Range & Ecology

Yamamomo live in Japan and china. Yamamomo is grown to a warm district and it is strong to heat. And it is grown on the seashore. Since Yamamomo is strong to dryness , it is use for a roadside tree.

Use & Conservation

Yamamomo’s nut is used for jam. And it is used for fruit wine. A bark is used for medicine. It’s name is YOUBAIHI. The medicine has an effect in muscular pain and lumbago. And there is also work which helps the digestive process.

Kantaro – Siebold earthworm

by M. Aikawa


Do you feel the impression of how the creature that earthworm? Bad feeling, No touch, In the soil…should have different impression. By the way , do you know “Kantaro”? It is a species of earthworm , and the annelid worms of the family Futomimizu, which is a large type.In general has been known by the name of Von Siebold earthworm, is said that the origin of the name.

Description & Taxonomy

Kantaro bear the scientific name to Pheretima sieboldi (Horst.), a large earthworm belonging to the genus of the family Futomimizu,Futomimizu rope, Annelida Oligochaeta. Although the length of the individual will be 25 ~ 28cm, to about 14 ~ 15mm thick and mature, with large populations more than 30g body weight, reach more than 40cm in length exists.
For the whole body is indigo blue, and determine the species is easy. Light hits the light and sleek, it is very beautiful earthworm.

Range & Ecology

Siebold earthworms are distributed around Shikoku, Kyushu, Chugoku and down into the Ryukyu Islands. But south of Yakushima they are not distributed. Closely related species are widely distributed around the world, particularly in Southeast Asia.

In Japan, over 60 species of the genus Futomimizu are distributed. They are living up to several cm from the surface of the soil under deciduous forest mainly, and seems to winter deep into the warm ground in the winter. That inhabit the forests of various types, such as cedar and cypress plantation and broadleaf forest. During the rainy season is often witness to appear on the surface.


Earthworm excrete feces on the absorption of particulate organic matter and microbial digestion, the small animals in the soil. By it, and has been the formation of soil suitable for plant growth.Therefore, it is treated as a beneficial insect in agriculture in general, be used for soil improvement. They are about the same amount of food ingested from half of body weight per day, that feces can be used as a high-quality fertilizer and soil conditioner.

There is a method given as feed for earthworms to organic matter such as garbage actively from this, that excrement be used as a fertilizer called “worm composting”.

View point

They can be found anywhere after a heavy rain, especially on the mountain behind the shrine in Asakura.

Japanese Squirrel: Sciurus lis

by M. Fujimoto


The number of Sciurus lis is becoming fewer every year. As a kind with fear of extinction, it is indicated to the Red Date Book. And this is fundamentally called the Sciurus lis. But it is also called “Kinezumi” and “Hondolis” in Honshu.

Description & Taxonomy

Sciurus lis of length from head to trunk is about 18-22cm. And the length of tail is about 15-17cm. A tail is the length of the same about as the body. It is very long. Sciurus lis resembles “Sciurus vulgaris orientis” in appearance but not in hair. The hair of Sciurus lis changes with seasons as follows.
The hair of hand and foot is reddisbrown in summer. And ear’s soft hair is lost in winter.
Sciurus lis belongs Rodentia, Sciuridae, Sciurinae and Sciurus.

Range & Ecology

Sciurus lis inhabits Honshu except Setouchi and San-in, Shikoku and Awaji-shima. It is said that Sciurus lis was exterminated in Kyushu and Chugoku district.

Since a Sciurus lis lives on trees, it can live only the place that trees stands in a row. In other words, it can’t live in the place that trees have grown independently like the park.

Sciurus lis hasn’t make a group and activity time is only several hours from early morning. So,it is difficult for us to look at it. Sciurus lis makes a nest on Pinus densiflora or Larix kaempfen and it doesn’t make on broadleaf trees. It uses the bark of Japanese cedar when it makes a nest. But these are wonderful phenomena , we can’t be solving the detailed reason yet.

Use & Conservation

We are apprehensive that Sciurus vulgania which imported as a pet escaped, it hybridizes with Sciurus lis and will be born the cross lately. And it is also poached in the national park and the number is decreasing. Sciurus lis eats the seed of trees, fruits and mushrooms. Since it is visible like a fried shrimp after Sciurus lis gnaws a cone and eats an inner fruit, it is called the “fried shrimp”. Then eaten nuts are buried at many places by them. So it is said that they contribute to expansion of a forest.


If you want to see Sciurus lis in Kochi, what is necessary is just to walk along the forest of the Shimanto River origin region. However, if you would like to see them certainly, going to Noichi Doubutsukouen in Kochi will be the best method.

Maaji : Trachurus japonicas

by T. Furukawa


The aji is one of the most popular fish. It is the maaji which is often seen especially in Kochi. It is at the fresh fish corner of a supermarket mostly. It is the fish that anyone has eaten at once.

The signal which thought that I would investigate about the maaji is lure fishing of the maaji which went together with my friends. Although I was interested in the fish from before, the fish which can be easily fished using bait called the aji did not have interest in particular. However, when I began fishing using lure, unlike bait, I was not able to fish the aji easily. Therefore, I wanted to understand the aji more and investigated about the ecology, the habit, etc. of the aji this time.

Taxonomy & Description

The scientific name of the maaji is “Trachurus japonicas”. The maaji is lone of the kinds included in “Perciforbes-Carangidae-Trachurus”.

The fish of Carangidae generally have two dorsal fins and they have 1~2 strong thorns before the anal fin. Those forms resemble the flat leaf of the broadleaf tree, and the sections are a long and slender spindle shape. Moreover, there are scales popularly called “zengo” on the lateral line on the body side. They are large and strong compared with the scales of the portion of other body. The back color is dark and the abdominal color is bright. (It changes with kinds.)

Range & Ecology

Many maajis ranging the south Japan except Okinawa and the East China Sea. They crowd together and inhabit the reef region with the depth of 1~150 meter. The maaji ride on a warm current around January, and go north. And they go south around autumn. “Kiaji” and “Kuroaji” of two kinds are mainly in the maaji. The kiaji establish on the coast and live. They establish to the reef the coral reef and the sandy mud bottom which are on the coast. The kuroaji migratory offshore and live.

The feeding habits of the aji are carnivorousness and eat the zooplankton, small fish, the crustacean, shellfish, the cephalopoda and the polychaete etc. Since the inside of the stomach of the aji will be empty in one day, they take food every day. Their natural enemies are birds and large-sized carnivorous fishes beside humans. The body color of maaji can defend themselves from such a natural enemies. Moreover, they have the character to flock to light. And they flock in quest of the strength of the most suitable light. However, the strength of the suitable light changes with environmental conditions at that time.

Use & Conservation

The maaji are mainly used for food. How to eat is various and especially sashimi, the broiled with salt and the dried fish are delicious. DHA which activates the brain and EPA which lowers cholesterol are abundantly contained in the aji. Moreover, they are used as bait when fishing a cuttlefish and a flatfish, or are treated as the object fish of fishing. It is in how to fish the aji variously, and there are mainly “sabiki fishing” and “lure fishing”.


We can be seen the aji mostly in the whole sea in Kochi Prefecture. In the sea near Kochi University, we can be seen they to Urado bay and Usa bay etc. The best season is from August to March.

Dark Chub: Nipponocypris temminckii

by T. Nakayama

I caught this in Yusuhara town during golden week.


Do you know kawamutsu? It is seen in narrow waterways , a lot of rivers. In early summer, we watch the fish change color.


Its scientific name is Nipponcypris temminckil. It is a member ofCypriniformes(called “koi” in japan). It is called Dark chub in English.

Range & Ecology

Kawamutsu is major river fish in Japan. Its size is 10-15cm and is found in many rivers. It lives in West Japan and East Japan. During breeding season, Kawamutsu’s body change breeding color. Male kawamutsu change into red color, in body, shallow water spawn.They eat aquatic insects, crustacean, small fish, and algea. Kawamutsu is omnivorous.

Use & Conservation

Kawamutsu called one of species “Haya” staple Ugui, and Oikawa . “Haya” origin Japanese word “Hayai” In Japan, people eat “Kanroni”,”Karaage” and so on.

Where to see in Kochi

Kawamutsu is seen a lot of river and narrow waterways. So we can watch near Kochi University.During the recent Golden Week holiday, I went to Yusuhara town. Yusuhara town have river source of Shimanto river. It very beautiful. It is important to protect river and preserve the animal ecology.

A Japanese useful tree: Castanopsis

by M. Yamanaka


Do you know Castanopsis? In Japan, shizoku is tree that has been important from primitive ages. I think, you will not surely know well because it is too common and unremarkable. For example, in Kochi, it is a major cover tree of the surrounding mountains. Moreover it is used frequent as a roadside tree. (See Use for details.) But I think it comes down to the fact that it has been used so much from ancient times that it familiar: Castanopsis is very useful tree.

Description & Taxonomy

All Castanopsis is evergreen arboreal vegetation of the Fagaceae. Castanopsis is a dominant species of hilly country areas, a low mountain place, etc. And Castanopsis is dominant species most in the broad-leaved evergreen forest belts of western part of Japan. Japanese Castanopsis has two varieties that grow wild. One sort is C. sieboldii. Another one is C. cuspidate. They distinguished in the following respects. Compared with C. cuspidata , the direction of C. sieboldii is a long and slender nut. A vertical crack is produced in a bark. etc…

Range & Ecology

There are about 100 varieties of Castanopsis found mostly in Asia. Japan is the northern distribution limit of Castanopsis. C. sieboldii is widely distributed over the warm-temperate zone west of Fukushima, and grows up into it well with a coast background. This wood is hard and since it is strong,it becomes a big tree easily. It is highly resistant to damage from salt water because leaf is thick and the cuticle layer is developed. Therefore it is almost always found near the coast.

On the other hand, C. cuspidata is mainly distributed over the inland west of Kinki district. This is more distributed over inland. Both varieties have many common features and have some which are considered to be a case where distinction is difficult. These have also found the hybrid and there is what has difficult distinction.


We can eat their Acorn. It is used for a country child’s snack in years past. Even now, it is sold at the night stall of a festival in Hakata. But, in ancient times, especially the Jomon period (about 14,000 BC to about 300 BC), it was a very important food in part because of its taste. Acorns generally have an astringent taste, but Castanopsis acorn are not astringent.

The wood is used as building materials, and it can use as charcoal. In addition the wood is used for shiitake mushroom cultivation.

Finally, the bark is used for dye. It is used for dyeing a wooden plate. If it uses together with iron nail, it will dye black.

As the only fault, honey produced near stands of Castonopsis has a bad smell and it is disliked by the apiarist. But it seems that a nature is also useful since an insect swarms around a flower well.


C. cuspidata and C. sieboldii are can see easily in Kochi. The beginning of spring,it is soft green. The flower of thin yellow is well conspicuous even from a distance. When autumn comes, you can go to gather acorns or the shiitake mushroom which grew in the dead tree of Castanopsis may be able to be found. And we can also eat.

However, if you find mushrooms that you don’t know well, it is dangerous, don’t take them. If you decide to gather them, please take care and enjoy yourself. Although it is promising with any time, I recommend you spring and autumn in this way.

Benkeigani: Chiromanates dehani

by K. Saito


Chiromanates dehaani is one kind of crab in fresh water. They are called “KURO BENKEIGANI” in japan.They live in almost every prefecture excluding Okinawa and Hokkaido. in Kochi, they live in Shimanto river. They are known creature of river cleaner.
They are nocturnal creature living in dark area,like a cave.So they are hided their body in howl in morning. And they are omnivorous that eat small fish, carcasses, and rotten leaves.

Description & Taxonomy

Chiramanates dehaani’s taxonomy is Arthropoda, malacostraca, Decapoda, sesarmidae, sesarmops.

It is just about 35mm. It size like a thumb. The shell is rugged, it looks like ”Musashibo Benkei” from which their Japanese name “Benkei gani” is derived. (By the way, ”Musashibo Benkei” was warrior in the Heian period, 794 to 1185.) Chiramanates dehani`s shell looks his angry face.

Their color is almost black except for claws which are white. It can hunt under cover of darkness hidden from both enemies and prey alike.

Range & Ecology

Chiramanates dehani live in waterside,riverside and shore between Oga peninsula and Boso peninsula in Japan.It shows they can stand salty water.There are many small fishes leaves and carcasses.

They live in ocean in their childhood. it look plankton. It called “zoea larva”. Zoea larva grow up in a shoal and become club’s look, they come to a river and copulate. After copulation, female Chiramanates dehani come to a seashore and spawn. This is the life cycle of Chiramanates dehani.

Use & Conservation

Chiramanates dehani is not eaten by man. It because Chiramanates dehani is not good taste and have smelling of earth.They are not eaten,but they are bred like crawfish. Almost time they bred is man catching them, but sometimes they are sold in pet shop.In online pet shop, they are sold 3000yen by pair.

On the other hand, they are decided general protection creature in Chiba prefecture.It shows they are decreasing in Kanto area. this is because waterside in Kanto become dirty place and introduced species increased.Even Chiramanates dehani is one of the example of be suffering from destroyed.We have to know that and make an effort to save waterside clean.


Chiramanates dehani is index of fertile river. If you want to see them in kochi, go to Shimannto river and thrust a branch into hole. Then, you get many interesting creature, and you can see the crabs that have Benkei’s face.