“Circle” festival in Ino

It is getting cool when the sky begins to darken on June 30th. As we get out the car, we can hear the excited voices of children, see the various colors of yukata (Japanese garment) and the many yatai  selling takoyaki (octopus ball), watagashi (cotton candy), ningyo-yaki (something like sponge cake) and so on. People form lines to the yatai that line the way to Sugimoto shrine. We push our way through the crowd and walk through under a Torii (a gateway to a Shinto shrine) and catch sight of the big circle about 250cm woven from imperata cylindrical–the “circle” festival is well under way. Continue reading “Circle” festival in Ino

Kantaro – Siebold earthworm

by M. Aikawa

Introduction

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.

Working

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.