Kochi’s Sika deer population caught in the crosshairs

512px-Cervus_nippon_01The forest is rather bright. It appears to be in the middle of winter as there is not a leaf left on the tree. But wait, this tree doesn’t seem right. The bark of the lower trunk is gone. It’s obvious as there is stony bark on the upper trunk, but nothing stony on the tree trunk below about 1 m high from the ground. It’s completely smooth with a woody creamy color. What is going on? Continue reading Kochi’s Sika deer population caught in the crosshairs

Vinegaroon: Sasorimodoki

by Riku Minei


image01Do you know vinegaroon? They are insects that are like scorpions. They are in Kochi. In night, if you smell vinegar in forest, please look  where you are stepping. Probably you can see them.

Description & taxonomy

Its average size is from 20 to 25mm. It is called `scorpion` because of its appearance. Japanese name is Sasorimodoki. But it is close to spider. It lives in tropical area and subtropical area. Vinegaroon has about 100 species. It has two spiecies in Japan. There are Typopeltis stimpsonii in Kyusyu, Typopeltis crucifer is on Yaeyama island. Kochi`s Vinegaroon is thought to be Typopeltis stimpsonii. It`s a range spreads every year and it live in Kobe and Ogasawara island now. We can recognize it by scissors form. Kochi`s vinegaroon is thought that be brought by people.

Range & ecology

It lives under stones and prefer humidity. It`s staple food is insect, a cricket or a grasshopper. It is cannibalistic. It catches insect by using scissors. In winter, it hibernates. It has poison that smell vinegar. `Vinegaroon` cause this poison. If people touch this poison, causes Dermatitis and maybe loss of eyesight. If you touch vinegaroon, you must wash your skin.

Use & conservation

image00 It is specified Endangered species in Kochi. In Kumamoto prefecture, it is specified Natural treasure. It is thought that its numbers are decreasing because it is carniverous and the number of cockroach or cricket which it feeds on is also decreasing.

[Note: images from Wikipedia]


Tosa Fighting Dog

by Ami

Going along a coast road beside beautiful blue sea and sky, I reached Katsurahama. At Tosa token center here in Katsurahama park, we can see Tosa fighting dogs. Do you know Tosa-Inu?  What do you imagine about them?

Tosa-Inu is Japanese cultural icon. They have big body and are brave.  Perhaps you may have felt frightened of them. But the real ones are gentle.
Soon after I enter the center, I meet very pretty puppies. They are quite obedient and they seldom bark. Even when children pull their tails and play with them roughly, they don’t get angry. Continue reading Tosa Fighting Dog

Tosaken: Kochi’s Famous Fighting Dog

by Y. Katayama


Dogs are lovely animals that are usually kept as a pet and which we can cuddle. It is very sweet. However, there is one dog that we can not cuddle or keep as a pet. It is Tosakenfightingdog. They attract us through a charm different from loveliness.


The kind was improved to the Tosakenfightingdog in the Tosa clan in active Shikoku of the dogfight at the Meiji era. Old English Mastiff, bulldog, bull terrier, great dane, etc were cross bred with the Shikokudog to produce this superior fighting dog.

The color of its hair, rough is red, fown, and a black. There were a lot of dogs that had a red macula in white in Kochi Prefecture the beginning of the Showa era. However, the number of red dogs has increased by the improvement afterwards. Torake and white exist a little, too. The hair quality is very short and hard.

The physique is very muscular. This is unusual Japanese dogs. The head is very like the mastiff. The skin is loose. This to be safe even if bittenThe tail and the ear a hung down.

There is very a difference in the physique. A big dog is 100Kg or more though small dogs are 30 kilos in weight. The dog of roughly 60Kg or more becomes a large dog.

The territorial imperative of the character is very strong. When the male fights, it becomes abnormally aggressive. However, it is obedient in reality, and it is very obedient to the master. There is bravely, and boldly endurance. The militant spirit and aggressiveness are first classes though it generously becomes accustomed to the person soon. Such a character is a charm of the Tosakenfightingdog.

Longevity is about 11 years. Where it lives until 18 is the highest record.

Because Tosa Ken’s power is very strong if it breeds, it is difficult for the woman to keep it. And, it is difficult also for raising dogs’ beginners. We should train with love and endurance when it is small because we might rage when lazy in the discipline.


The Tosa dogfight is assumed to be “Dangerous kinds of dogs” and there is a restriction in countries such as Britain, France, and Germany. The owner’s breeding is, and the snakebite accident is insufficient and there is pickled radish in Japan. The person has died on the inside. We are not carefully enough of breeding. It is likely to be bitten by the Tosa Ken. It is important that and we make a good relation with the Tosa Ken.

Tosaken: Kochi’s Mastiff

Fighting dogs are used dog fighting game as one of recreation of people. In Japan, the recreation is held in Kochi and Akita. The dog which is used dog fighting game is mainly Mastiff species. But the past, the dog of Spitz species was used.

Fighting dogs are two varieties Tosaken and Akitaken. Tosaken is crossbred of Shikokuken, Bull terrier, Maedaken, Great dane, Old English Mastiff and Bulldog. Tosaken is a Japan’s dog which is popular as fighting dogs. The dog which was used as fighting dogs at the first is a dog of Shikoku. The last part of the Edo period, Tosaken was made and was mixed with various European breed of dog. So, in Meiji period, moreover, strong fighting dogs were made. Tosaken is tolerant and friendly. Tosaken has heart of attack. Its life is 10~12 years. Tosaken is large-sized. Its quality of hair is coarse and short. Its physique is muscularity. The skin is slack because it is bit. Its weight is about 90~91 kg. Color is red, apricot, black, forn and burindol. Tosaken and Akitaken’s withers heights are similar. It is about 60 cm. Tosaken’s weight is bigger than Akitaken’s. Tosaken is about 90 kg. Akitaken is about 54 kg. Tosaken and Akitaken’s life are similar. It is about 10~12 years.

Now, Tosaken distribute each place of Japan. But in the early Showa period, it was found in Tosa of Kochi.

Originally the Tosaken improved a Japanese dog used for hunting in mountains of Kochi as the world strongest dogfight became the biggest Japanese dog. The blood relationships such as a bulldog, a pointer, a mastiff, the Great Dane are introduced by a process of the improvement. It is only male dog to appear in the ring and divide it into the class every weight and face.

Tosaken is usually quiet dog, but becomes the dangerous dog depending on discipline. Tosaken fights in backyard of house or the vacant land, then Tosaken misunderstand fight at all time and anyplace. Such Tosaken became nervous character that cautious on everyday take a walk. Then Tosaken may bite the thing which broke out to face by mistake. Therefore it is importance that Tosaken discipline to fight in sumo ring.

Tosaken center in Katsurahama of Kochi holds fights between Tosakens. In the Tosaken center direct Tosaken where common man can’t enter division cage look and prepare for issue certificate of attestation that natural monument of Kochi.

You can encounter Tosaken if I go to the Tosaken center of Katsurahama.

Inoshishi: Wild Boar

Wild boar’s scientific name is Sus scrofa. The wild boar is an animal classified into the wild boar family wild boar belonging. Wild boar’s nose is a very sensitive, nervous animal.The wild boar has subspecies of about 30 kinds in the world.

Two subspecies the Japan wild boar and the Ryukyu wild boar are distributed in Japan. Wild boars live in the forest and meadow where the weeds grow on the low mountain belt and where the plain grows thickly, and likes place where the water place is near. Wild boar food habitat are places where the plant that has grown in the forest is underground stem, fruits, and bamboo shoot. The animal eats many insect kind, the earthworm, the river crab, and the snake, etc. according to the change of the seasons.

Moreover, it is likely to infest in the vicinity of the house for farm products. Birds and small mammals, etc. Wild boar’s are also sometimes eaten. However, it eats at time when the corpse had dropped by chance and time alone when another doesn’t have the eaten one at all.

The wild boar has the excellent motor nerve that the body cannot imagine. It is possible to run the speed at about 45 km/h highest. In addition, an adult mammal of 70kg has been observed to run-up and jump over the bar of the height of 121cm an the experiment by the Kinki chugoku Shikoku agricultural research center. However, it is not good at one with the stereoscopic effect. A hedge put up diagonally cannot be jumped over.

The power of wild boar’s nose is very strong, and can move as much as 50-60kg stone even with the female by 70kg or more in the male.Moreover, it has ability to swim though like dog paddle level. The wild boar that swims in the sea in Japan’s Inland Sea is frequently witnessed.

Recently, the number in Japan of wild boars that infest in the village is in the increasing tendency. Especially, doing the agriculture and forestry industry damage becomes a problem in under-populated areas and the senior citizen village. In Hiroshima Prefecture and Hyogo Prefecture, etc., it infests even in the vicinity of the residential quarter, where it ruins the garden of the private house and eats the garbage of the road. It is known to cause personal suffering to harm man biting happen frequently, too.

The wild boar is hard to control because it has an advanced learning ability though there is control methods such as sounding the firecracker sound, and using the oil smell. It is too expensive and not realistic to put up steel or electrified fence to prevent it completely. Kure City and Takehara City, etc. in Hiroshima Prefecture provided the subsidy for the installation of the protective grille, and giving the wild boar food for the first time in the whole country enacted the prohibited wild boar ordinance to Kobe City.

Many wild boar lives in the mountains near Nakayama in Kochi Prefecture.

Wild boar

Wild boar is classified as Vertebrata Mammalia Artiodactyla Suidae Sus Scrofa. And they are one of popular mammals in Japan. They have 16 kinds in world, for example, “Babyrousa” which lives in Indonesia Sulawesi; “Phacochoerus” which called “Iboinosisi” in Japan, which lives in Africa and “Sus” is group which belong Wild boar. They are the ancestors of pig, so their character is similar. In Japan, two kinds boars exist, “Japanese wild boar” (S. scrofa leucomystax) lives in Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu. “Ryukyu wild boar” (S. scrofa riukiuanus ) which is called Yamashisi or Yamanshi- lives in Ryukyu Islands. Continue reading Wild boar