Sausages fire up venison campaign

| Jul 4, 2015

Sausages fire up venison campaign

These days, deer in Japan cause tremendous damage to fields, paddies, pastures, orchards, woodland and even wasabi water gardens. They are also wiping out many rare wild plants. Since the last known Japanese wolf was killed in Nara Prefecture in 1905, deer on these ...

New neighbors, please go away

| Apr 4, 2015

New neighbors, please go away

When I came to live in Kurohime in northern Nagano Prefecture in the late autumn of 1980, I was a bit awed by the amount of snow, which piles up and compacts to a depth of 5 meters in the mountains. For the first year, ...

<em>Omotenashi</em> — Japanese hospitality?

| Feb 28, 2015

Omotenashi — Japanese hospitality?

As the Tokyo 2020 Bid Committee's appointed "Cool Tokyo" ambassador, multilingual television journalist Christel Takigawa set media buzzing worldwide with her Sept. 7, 2013, speech to the International Olympic Committee in Buenos Aires in which she made great play of the word "motenashi" by ...

Counting the blessings of sheep

| Jan 31, 2015

Counting the blessings of sheep

I had been a long time away from my native Wales — in the Arctic, in Ethiopia and in Japan, where my books were beginning to sell and I was even being paid to appear in television adverts drinking whisky (not "whiskey," but Scotch), ...

Talking <em>tanuki</em> — or whatever you call them

| Jan 3, 2015

Talking tanuki — or whatever you call them

After deer, easily the most commonly seen wild mammals up here in the Kurohime hills where I live, and in northern Nagano Prefecture in general, are the furry, short-legged burrowing creatures called tanuki in Japanese. If you look up that word in older Japanese-English dictionaries ...

Oh deer, what a waste of food and fashion

| Dec 6, 2014

Oh deer, what a waste of food and fashion

In summer this year, my photographer chum Conan Morimoto brought a fashion-designer friend of his by the name of Teruki Uchise to talk to me and visit our Afan Trust woods outside Kurohime in the Nagano Prefecture foothills of the Northern Alps. Most unusually for ...