Tag Archives: Animals

Animals Quiz

25 Sep

Here are the names of some common animals in Japanese. Do you know what animals they are?

Take this easy, multiple-choice quiz.

After you take the quiz, leave a comment on this post to tell me how you did. Also, tell me what you thought of the quiz (Too easy? Too difficult?), and how you knew the answers that you got right (Lucky guess? You study Japanese?).

Here’s the quiz:

(Also, if you liked this quiz, I have another similar one, here.)


11 Jan

Do you ever look at the “Huffington Post” website? I have their app on my smartphone. I like animals a lot … so I liked this slideshow of cats sleeping in funny positions that I found on their site: Click here to see it.

Then there’s “Maru”, the cute cat here in Japan that has become a bit of a YouTube celebrity:


15 Oct

I’ve gotten emails from a visitors to my site a few times asking about the meaning of the PET bottles (plastic bottles) that can be seen outside some homes around Japan.

These "PET bottles" filled with water can sometimes be seen outside some homes in Japan...I see them less often now than I did when I first came to Japan, though.

So, I decided that since I’ve been asked about them more than once, I’d write a blog post and try to explain it. (By the way, feel free to contact me anytime with any questions you may have about Japan…and of course, comments on any blog post are always welcome!)

What do you imagine the meaning of these bottles is?

Well, they’re meant to be a type of 「ネコ避け」 (“cat deterrent”).

People want cats (and dogs) to stay off of their property so a numbers of years ago, a TV show here in Japan told viewers that sunlight reflects from water and scares cats away. So, the show said, people should put out plastic bottles of water for that purpose.
Overnight bottles of water could be seen outside many homes!

Nowadays, though, fewer people do this anymore because they’ve realized that it doesn’t actually work.

This cat could care less about those bottles...if he even noticed them at all!

As with any fad, manufacturers decided to try and cash in on people’s desire for an effective 「ネコ避け」 (cat deterrent) and they began to sell plastic mats with spikes that aren’t hard enough to actually harm an animal (or child) but aren’t pleasant to step on.

Close-up view of the plastic mat. The spikes don't harm anyone (or anything) that steps on them...but cats (and crows) don't like them.

My neighbor has some of these mats around their garden…and I’ve seen a cat walk on them, carefully stepping between the spikes! So, it seems, these mats don’t really work either.

(All images in this post were found on Google Images).


6 Jul

Have you ever heard of 畑正憲 (Masanori Hata)…more commonly called 「ムツゴロウ」 (“Mutsugorou“)?


He’s a 74 year old Japanese man who graduated from the prestigious 東京大学 (University Of Tokyo).

When he was twenty-five, he got a job making documentaries, but quit eight years later to become a professional author after he got his first book published.

Almost every book he’s had published and movie that he produced has been about animals.

「ムツゴロウさん」 (“Mutsugorou-san“) is famous in Japan for his love of animals.
He loves any and all animals! Bugs, reptiles, housepets, wild beasts…all animals.

He often appears as a guest on Japanese TV variety shows because of his unusual habit of “playing” with animals…even wild animals. Many times he meets an animal that’s not in a “playful mood” and he’s been bitten and scratched many times…a few times he’s been nearly killed!

But that doesn’t hinder his love for the animals…nor does it cause him to hesitate to continue to “play” with animals. When he gets bit or injured, he just says that the animal is only acting natural…he doesn’t seemed fazed in the least.

He’s quite a character!

Here’s a video of a program I saw on TV that featured the “Top Five Mutsugorou Moments” as chosen by Japanese pop singer 中島美嘉 (Mika Nakashima).