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[Monkey (Japanese Macaque)]

The Japanese macaques are living in the northernmost area that monkeys live in the world. They have been familiar to people from ancient times, and appear in fairy tales, performing arts and art works. Recently, Japanese macaques at a hotspring in Nagano Prefecture have become popular even abroad.





[Frog (Ka-e-ru)]

The Japanese word for “frog” is “Ka-e-ru”, which has many homophones and they appear as “Bu-ji, Ka-e-ru (come back safely)”, “O-Ka-ne-ga, Ka-e-ru (a money is refunded or returned)”, “Fu-ku-ga, Ka-e-ru (happiness returns home)”, or “Wa-ka-Ga-e-ru” for “Wa-ka-Ka-e-ru (grow younger)”. As “Ka-e-ru” (frog) is closely associated with returning of something good, people put a figure of frog in a purse or a pottery figure of frog at the front door, as a good fortune.




最大15 メートルが記録されている世界最大種の魚です。着物の甚平(ジンベエ)を着ているような模様からジンベエザメという和名が付けられました。日本では大漁を知らせるありがたい魚として、ジンベエ様、ヱビス様等と呼んでいる地域もあります。また温厚な性質からダイバーたちの憧れの魚として親しまれています。。

[Whale Shark]

It is one of the largest fish in the world, and holds a record of 15 meters in length. Its Japanese name is “Jinbei-zame (Jinbei shark)”, as the pattern on its body surface makes it look like waring a Jinbei (a Japanese informal summer clothes for men). By region, it is called “Jinbei-sama” or “Ebisu-sama” as a welcome fish because its presence is often a signal of a big catch. It is also an idol of divers for its gentle nature.






Gorilla, which is one of the largest primates and a great favorite in a zoo, is highly intelligent and said to be gentle in nature in contrast to its appearance. Mountain gorilla is designated as an endangered species because of the habitat degradation and poaching.





[Red panda]

A red panda standing upright on two legs was once in the spotlight, and many people have become fascinated by red pandas with their cuteness. They live in captivity in more than 50 zoos in Japan. However, red panda is designated as an endangered species because of the habitat degradation.






Elephants, the largest terrestrial mammals are said to have a sophisticated cognitive ability. The first elephant to Japan was a tribute to an Ashikaga Shogun in Muromachi Era, but when times went down to Meiji Era and a zoo was opened, elephants were sung in nursery rhymes. They are children’s favorite all through the ages.






A ferret is a mammal belonging to the Mustelidae. It has been raised as a companion
animal in Europe, e.g., for hunting rabbits, for which a ferret chases them out of
their nest holes, for getting rid of mice, or for cleaning narrow spaces. A ferret is full
of curiosity and playful. As it easily becomes tame with its owner, a ferret has become
recognized as a pet these years.






A hedgehog is a mammal belonging to Erinaceinae. Wild hedgehogs live worldwide, i.e.,
in Europe, Russia, Meddle East and East Asia (except Japan). The spines covering their
backs are their protection from their enemies, which their hair has changed into.
A hedgehog is very cautious and timid, and often takes some time before it becomes tame
with people. However, its cute figure has been attracting people’s attention as a pet these years.





[Mt. Fuji with Cranes and Pine Trees]

“Fuji” sounds like “fushi” meaning immortality, and has long been associated with longevity. A pine tree is an evergreen tree and associated with longevity. A crane is said to live for a thousand years, and a pair of cranes is a symbol of a happy marriage.
This crest is full of very auspicious motifs.






There are famous spots,events,etc. in the picture. Can you find them? more details





[Hige-moji (literally,"beard-character", similar to swash letter)-TOKYO]

In Edo era (AD1603-1868), new designed fonts were created for the characters according to the various purposes of their use. They are collectively called "Edo-characters" and are often used even today."Hige-moji" is one of them, whose handwriting written at a stretch with a thick writing brush represents power and momentum. The fading handwriting in the middle and /or the end of characters look like beard, which the name of the "Hige-moji" comes from.





[Sumo Wrestling]

Sumo wrestling or Sumo is a Japanese traditional national sport in which two wrestlers fight on a circle court called “Dohyo”, whose diameter is 4.55m.A Sumo wrestler will be a winner if he knocks down the opponent, or push him out of Dohyo. Although Sumo was originally a religious matter in Shinto, it became being performed as a people’s pleasure in Edo era. It is now one of the most popular sports called “Ohzumo” meaning a big Sumo wrestling. A Sumo wrestler is called a “Rikishi” in general, but there are more designations in detail depending upon the rank, etc.

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