Near the exit at the end of the express way in Shimanto township, there is a crowed place. Some people are eating grilled pork and ice cream, sitting and talking and smoking. In the wooden building, some local agricultural products are sold and there is a restaurant. There is a wonderful place of natural bueauty. It is “Agri-Kubokawa”. Continue reading Agri-Kubokawa

Dear Bear, From Dabada

image06Once upon a time, there was a bear which was kept in a bar in a big city. One night, one of the customers got very drunk and approached the bear. For a joke, he gave his alcohol to the bear. The bear sniffed it, then turned away from it. Other customers also started to give the bear different kinds of drink, but the bear wasn’t interested in any of them. One night after that, a man from Kochi came into the bar. When he heard about the interesting story about the bear, he remembered he had a bottle of alcohol which was produced in his home town. He put the bottle in front of the bear as the other customer has done. At first, the bear gave one glance at it and sniffed it slightly. His reaction was no different from other times, but in the next moment, things were totally different. After sniffing the drink, the bear tasted it a little bit. Suddenly, the bear took a hold the bottle and started to gulp it down! All people who were drinking in the bar were surprised about it. At last, the bear finished drinking and fell asleep. The next morning, the bear had bad hangover. The amazing alcohol’s name was a Japanese shōchū called “Dabada Hiburi (ダバダ火振り)”. Continue reading Dear Bear, From Dabada

Local Produce and Consumption

Here is Shimanto city, my grandmother’s home. Kochi in March, in the early morning around 4 o’clock, chickens are clucking,and people wake up. Walking along the river, people are cutting grass, plowing a field and picking rape blossoms. They work hard under the shining sun, on their head with sweat. Around noon My grandmother harvests rape blossoms and got on the car and went to JA to sell product.

Continue reading Local Produce and Consumption

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Ruddy Kingfisher

“Akasyoubin” are kind of kingfisher and range over the forest and can be seen as a summer bird In Japan. Because they have a red bill like fire and red body, they are called “fire bird”. Then their English name is “Ruddy Kingfisher” and scientific name is “Halcyon coromanda”. Though their bodies and legs are red, they have the vertical lines of cobalt blue on waists. Their length is about 27cm. Continue reading Ruddy Kingfisher