Most Asiatic black bears weigh between 50 and 80 kilograms, with large males reaching a weight of 120 kilograms when the are fattened up at the end of autumn. They eat plant shoots and salmon and sometimes attack Yezo shika deer. At dawn on in mid-November in 1915, an Ussuri brown bear appeared at the Ikeda family's house in Sankebetsu Rokusen-sawa, about 30 kilometers inland from the west coast of Hokkaido-. Japan Today reported: “Tomohiro Tamura, 34, who had been in charge of bears for three and a half years at the zoo, was pronounced dead at a hospital from blood loss, the police said. In May and June four people were killed by Asian black bears in Akita prefecture while picking bamboo shoots, and in August a female safari park worker in Gunma prefecture was killed when an Asian black bear climbed into her car and attacked her. … He swore an oath to kill ten bears for every victim of the attack. She told the writer Terry Domico they nurse very gently, more gently than her own children. After the bear had fled, the hunters scouted the area and discovered dried blood on the snow at the base of a Sakhalin fir tree. “In Kudoyamacho, Wakayama Prefecture, on the same day, a bear escaped from an animal trap in a field. The ceremony ended when the head of the bear was placed on the altar and arrows are fired to the east so its spirit could return to the mountains. Such material is made available in an effort to advance understanding of country or topic discussed in the article. A small time hustler takes the pint-sized baseball team to Japan for a match against the country's best little league baseball team which sparks off a series of adventures and mishaps. The bear suddenly rushed at the old woman, who vainly tried to flee. More and more farmland is being left unattended, and plants have grown among the abandoned crops. It is not rare for bears to be caught and killed, but there are increasingly fewer hunters doing the job. Sometimes gall bladders can fetch $100 a gram. She suffered serious injuries in her head. The surprise encounter panicked the family horse, but the bear fled after taking only harvested corn. Many bears were spotted when it was thought they should be hibernating. Matagi communities believed that killing a bear in the mountains would result in a bad storm, which was linked to the belief that bear spirits could affect weather. These are problems that bears face more elsewhere in Asia than in Japan. The ceremony was presided over by the community leader. Disturbing a hibernating black bear can be dangerous. See China, Health, Chinese Medicine. The same month a pair of bears attacked three different people in separate incidents in Toyama. To get all these answers, keep scrolling down. In mountain regions, bears were hunted by driving them upland to a waiting hunter who would shoot it. Japan’s bears are killers, claiming a handful of lives most years. Allowing fields to become fallow and overgrown and the bluring of the areas of the region that demarcated the forest and farms have also contributed to the problem. Odo attempted to hide behind furniture, but was clawed in the back. Police said that two female employees in their 60s and 70s at the park near Kazuno City in Akita prefecture were believed to have been feeding the bears from outside the concrete fence before they escaped. The Ainu did not get rich, or respect, but they held on. Bears that were ritually killed and eaten were bears captured as cubs that were usually raised for about two years in the local community. It was the first fatal bear attack in Japan in 9 years. All we can do is try every possible option, one by one." Mr Asano believes that as long as the destruction of the bears' deciduous mountain forest habitat also continues, humans will have to get used to having them as close neighbours. Therefore, a new plan was proposed: to attempt to lure out the brown bear with the corpse of a victim. Members of the Hanamaki Municipal Government and a local hunting club are currently searching for the bear, which could be the same animal spotted near a hot springs resort over the weekend. Prayers were said to the fire, house and mountain gods. They are persecuted by the timber industry as they kill valuable trees by gnawing off the bark to get at the sapwood beneath. The Bears are in a dilemma. She heard a rumbling noise outside, but before she could investigate, the bear broke through a window and entered the house. [Ibid], In May 1999, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported, a man was killed by a bear in Hokkaido. Bears can be dangerous in Hokkaido, where hikers may encounter them in the mountains. Newspaper reports of such incidents were something else I probably ought not to … The Asian black bears in Oku Nikko are distributed throughout Honshu and the Shikoku Islands (extinct on Kyushu Island). Today, watered-down versions of the festivals are sometimes performed for tourists. In Japan, it is also known as tsukinowaguma which means moon circle bear. Mushroom hunters and fishermen have been mauled but mostly the bears keep their distance from people. By 2009, about 40 bear-related problems were being reported a month. Because they are no longer hunted brown bears don’t fear people like they used to. Between April and September 2010, 82 bear attacks with 84 victims were reported in Japan. Yamamoto Heikichi and "Kesagake" Meanwhile, Saito- Ishigoro-, unaware of the family's fate, filed a report with authorities and the district police before returning to Tomakomai and lodging at a local hotel there. At the Ueno Zoo a bear has been artificially-induced to hibernate by replicating the conditions in the bear’s home territory. Each year they kill one or two people in Japan and injure 10 to 20. They were disappointed, having failed to kill the bear, but the captain thought he had heard some response from it. Questions or comments, e-mail email@example.com, Nature, Science, Animals - Animals, Plants, the Sea. A couple days before in Sharicho, Hokkaido, two brown bears gave local residents a scare when they appeared in a central district of town.” Bear sightings are being reported almost every day between April and September. Sports hunters prize the black bear for the bile from its gall bladder, which is used in traditional Chinese medicine. In 1996, 1,725 bears regarded as pests were shot. In some Japanese hunting communities, black bears lacking the white chest mark are considered sacred. It was Yamamoto and Ikeda Kamejiro-, a guide, who immediately set out after the bear. The village people gathered in the school, and seriously injured people were accommodated in the Tsuji family house near the river. They are omnivores that eat nuts, fruits, insects, ants, insect grubs, river crabs, honey, leaves, acorns, other items from the forest and meat. A 90-year-old man broke his arm. Acorns are the primary food source for black bears in Japan. Carrying torches made of birch bark, they entered the house and beheld the results of the attack. [Source: Yomiuri Shimbun, May 9, 1999], In October 2005, a zookeeper died after being mauled on his head and leg by a brown bear at the Fuji Safari Park in Shizuoka. Jackie Earle Haley returns as Kelly Leak, the Bears' star player, as the team ventures to the other side of the world to face off against the best little league team in Japan. [Ibid], That night, a sniper at the bridge thought he saw something in the shadows of the tree stumps on the opposite shore. Kesagake now seemed to lack prudence and stretched its territory downstream. Tradesmen and companies banded together to produce a living reserve for the Ussiri brown bears flown in from Japan and away from their sad lives in cramped, bleak cages. ... Something else that black bears in Japan do is gnaw off bark to get to the sapwood of valuable timber trees. The team dropped everything and scattered, but the bear had singled out one of the graduate students who had fallen through the snow crust while trying to escape. Mayu fought back, apparently by throwing firewood, and tried to escape. “Yorkshire Wildlife Park has a great track record and we know they’ll provide the bears with a fantastic new home, where they can receive the rehabilitation, enrichment and lifelong care they need,” Georgina Groves added. Next to be targeted was Take, Saito- Ishigoro-'s pregnant wife. Brown bears in Hokkaido have been observed going after deer after the emerge from hibernation in part because supplies of other kinds of food are in short supply. Experts say a meagre supply of acorns and other nuts last autumn drove an unusually large number of Japan's black bears into populated areas to forage for food. Yayo then escaped with her children. In Japan, black bears sometimes make treetop bear’s nest known as are enza in Japanese. But if a bear is agitated, taking more defensive measures could be required. After the introduction of Buddhism in Japan, which prohibited the killing of animals, the Japanese compromised by devising different strategies in hunting bears. [Source: Mainichi Shimbun, September 24, 2001], "When I first saw it, I thought it was a big black dog. By some estimates there are around 3,000 brown bears in Japan, all of them in Hokkaido. Japanese black bears roam forests from sea level to the subalpine zone high on mountainsides. [Source: Hiromasa Takeda and Takahiro Komazaki, Yomiuri Shimbun, October 24, 2010], Encounters between bears and humans are often just as scary for the bears as the people. The cull has prompted the ministry to urge hunters to show restraint amid fears that the population has reached dangerously low levels. Reasons for Bear Attacks in Japan in 2010, Reasons for the attacks include shortages of food in mountainous areas and a reduction in hunting. "I don't think there are any bears left in these mountains.". While at the time the skull and some of the fur of the bear were kept, they later were lost and no traces of Kesagake are left. The bear had damaged at least eight houses, but so far no one could find it. "Bears need to stock up on food before they hibernate in the winter, which is one of the main reasons why so many have been spotted in towns and villages," Makoto Asano of the Japan Bear Network told the Guardian. The previous year an abundant crop prompted a rise in the number of bear cubs, leaving adults with more young mouths to feed. The Bears apparently didn't win any trip to Japan despite that's what they said in the second sequel that they'd win a trip to Japan if they won the game like they did in the astrodome, but Japan is upset with the fact that no teams have come to America or they decline because Japan has beaten the American teams 9 to 11 games. In the summer and autumn of 2004 there was an unusually high number of bear attacks. Japanese black bears are divided into seven recognized subspecies. This has encouraged bears to move nearer to where people live. [Ibid], Odo had remained at the house as the only bodyguard. [Source: Yomiuri Shimbun, October 24, 2010]. The most important Ainu rite was the iyomante, or the bear sending ritual. The high number of bears wandering into areas with human populations was again blamed on low yields of acorns and natural nuts. "I've lived here for decades, but it's the first time I've ever seen a bear come this close to the city. The Yomiuri Shimbun reported: “Many experts have agreed that this year's dearth of acorns---on which bears feed---explains why dozens of the creatures have come out of forests and into towns and cities across the country in recent months. Ezo brown bears live in Hokkaido. Moments later, it attacked a 31-year-old woman in the neighborhood before again making its escape. Hunting of brown bears was banned in 1982. The villagers believed that once the bear had a taste for human flesh, its return to the settlement was assured. Brown bears are threatened by loss of habitat to farming and logging and human control of salmon rivers. [Ibid], O-kawa Haruyoshi, who was seven years old and the son of the Sankebetsu village mayor at the time of the incident, grew up to become an excellent bear hunter. Of these 4,251 were killed at the time or destroyed later. The Kyushu subspecies is probably already extinct. Many attacks occur in the spring when people collect wild bamboo shoots, which the bears also fancy. When he spoke to it, however, he received no reply and ordered the snipers to open fire. Children were escorted to schools. [Ibid], December 11th and 12th of the Sankebetsu Brown Bear Incident, On December 11, Miyoke Yasutaro- and Saito- Ishigoro- returned to Sankebetsu. “Nuisance” bears are hunted and killed and their body parts sold. As the animal advanced she pled for her life and that of her unborn child, but it was in vain. 3 Minute Read There was a particularly high number of attacks in Toyama on the Sea of Japan. In Hyogo, a bear attacked an 82-year-old woman as she gathered flowers. The plan was widely condemned, especially by the O-ta, Saito-, and Miyoke families but it was decided that, for the future of the village, it was the best plan. In September 2001, the Mainichi Shimbun reported from Hanamaki, Iwate Prefecture: “Four people, three of them elderly, were injured after a berserk black bear attacked them here Monday before it disappeared back into the woods. The bear supplied fur and meat and brought gifts from the deities and was regarded as the important mountain god in disguise. Bears that become caught in traps are harassed for a time by barking dogs and then released back to the wild, hopefully with a lesson learned.” [Ibid]. "And then the scorching weather in summer made the acorns fall from the trees before they had grown to full size." The corps of guardsmen who had tracked the bear downriver realized that they were not, in fact, on its trail. In October 2004, two people were attacked and hurt in separate attacks by bears in Hyogo and Hiroshima prefectures. After seeing a TV spot about the Bears, he decides to chaperone the baseball team for a trip to Japan in their game against the country's best little league baseball team. In Iwate Prefecture three people were attacked in three towns, and one person was seriously injured. "Acorns aren't the only food bears eat," he said. In 2005 there were plentiful food supplies in the mountains and relatively few bears caused mischief in places with large human populations. They occasionally eat livestock and kill people. When he did not return his family sent a search party out for him and found him dead. Young bears stay close to their mothers for the first two years of their lives, gaining protection and learning skills they need to survive on their own. Bears in Japan hibernate for around four months generally beginning in late November. "Bears born in these years have now become very active, partly because acorns are in short supply," Maita said. Most of the meat they eat comes from carcasses although they have been observed hunting small deer and other animals. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. The Asiatic black bear is classified as “vulnerable” on the International Union of the Conservation of Nature’s Red List of endangered species. In Toyama two school children were attacked and scratched on their upper torsos. A large number of motherless cubs were also seen which may have been due to their mothers being killed. [Source: Wikipedia], Yamamoto was familiar with Kesagake's behaviour and successfully tracked him down. By some estimates this was 30 percent to 50 percent of the total bear population in Japan. Now, the Bad News Bears are going to Japan in this final installment of the trilogy. The hunter got stuck in the three-meter-long cave while trying to pull the bear out after killing it with a shotgun. They can outrun a person on open ground and have been observed swimming 300 meters in Japan. A group of men was formed to kill the bear, including Miyoke and Saito-. The number of black bears in western Honshu has been dramatically reduced by the prevalence of introduced cedars and cypresses, which produce no acorns for the bears to eat. Among some Ainus a male bear was killed and its penis, head and other body parts were taken to a sacred place on the mountains. She was a black bear living in the mountainous area around Pension Yoshio in Niigata that fought Takamura Mamoru. The Ainu continue to worship and revere bears but they no longer ritually kill them. Bears reproductive cycles are slower than those of many other wild animals, with females giving birth to only one or two cubs every two to three years. 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