is asubspeciesofwild boarnative to all ofJapan, save forHokkaidoand theRyukyu Islands. It is a small, almost maneless, yellowish-brown subspecieswith distinctive white whiskers extending from the corners of the mouth to the cheeks.

It features prominently inJapanese culture, where it is widely seen as a fearsome and reckless animal, to the point that several words and expressions in Japanese referring to recklessness include references to boars. The boar is the last animal of theoriental zodiac, with people born during theyear of the Pigbeing said to embody the boar-like traits of determination and impetuosity. Among Japanese hunters, the boars courage and defiance is a source of admiration, and hunters andmountain peoplenot uncommonly name their sons after the animal.

Boars are also seen as symbols of fertility and prosperity; in some regions, boars are thought to be drawn to fields owned by families including pregnant women, and hunters with pregnant wives are thought to have greater chances of success when boar hunting. The animals link to prosperity was illustrated by its inclusion on the10 note during theMeiji period, and it was once believed that a man could become wealthy by keeping a clump of boar hair in his wallet.5

It is a popular subject amongnetsukesculptors, and is mentioned inKojiki(711-712), the oldest extant Japanese chronicle. The boar also features inJapanese poetry, having first appeared in the works ofYamabe no Akahito.3Its importance in the Japanese diet was such that it was exempt fromEmperor Tenmus ban on meat-eating in 675.6

Wozencraft, W.C.(2005).Order Carnivora. InWilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M (eds.).

Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference

(3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp.532628.ISBN

Fauna japonica sive Descriptio animalium qu, in itinere per japoniam suspecto annis 1823-1830

Current views on the taxonomy and zoogeography of the genus Sus.

Albarella, U., Dobney, K, Ervynck, A. & Rowley-Conwy, P. Eds. (2008).

Waiting for Wolves in Japan: An Anthropological Study of People-wildlife Relations

This page was last edited on 1 July 2019, at 22:33

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