Wolf at the door

A marvelously informative and visual on wolves and related myths and legends from Wild in Japan…

Wild in Japan

Hi blog.

This post has been a long time coming.  The idea goes back several years, but it took a bit of luck and planning to bring it together.

There is a lot of disagreement and confusion when it comes to the Honshu wolf, one of two (or possibly more) wolves endemic to – and now extinct in – Japan.  Scientists can’t agree whether it was a subspecies of the gray wolf (Canis lupus hodophilax) or a separate species (Canis hodophilax).  No-one seems able to point to a single cause for their extinction (I can – I call it “the usual reasons”*).  The locals couldn’t even agree on a single name.

What we do know is that the last confirmed wolf was killed in Nara in 1905.  Apparently, there had been one kept in Ueno Zoo just over a decade before, but no photographs survive.  (And, alas, neither…

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One thought on “Wolf at the door

  1. Yasugi Ken-ichi Tamura says:

    That is right. In Japan, such kind information is recognized as taboo because of one of shintoh which is base of authority of empire of Japan”ten-no”. In izumo, information in myth era is remained also now as compared with Ise. Such kinds of story, also scholars do not like to talk, even if archaeologist dido not go into this field directly and sufficiently in spite of progressing of physical analysis equipment.

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