As Mrs M and I were returning from a visit to the in-laws the other day, we noticed something rather strange happening on the forecourt of an Eneos petrol station. For a split second, Mrs M thought we had stumbled upon a murder scene, but a closer look revealed something far less sinister, namely our second encounter with an inoshishi (猪 / wild boar) in the past year (the first one gave rise to a disappointingly blurry photograph).
As anyone who's seen the film Deliverance will tell you, it's usually best to avoid groups of country folk who own guns, drive pick-up trucks and wear fishing vests and baseball caps, but while their replies to my questions were very much on the monosyllabic side ('Is that a wild boar?' 'Yes.' 'Did you kill it yourselves?' 'Yes.' 'With a gun?' 'Yes.' 'Will you keep the hide?' 'No.'), that was due more to Japanese reserve than redneck menace.
You need to apply to the town hall for a special licence to hunt wild boar, and the official season runs from 15th November until 15th March. According to our community newsletter, during the 2010 / 2011 season the wild boar population was reduced by a grand total of 62: 53 of them trapped and 9 of them shot. An interesting way to spend a Wednesday evening, I reckon, and enough meat at the end of it to feed a small army - or at least a medium sized hunting party.
About me 私について
I suppose I must be the archetypal J-blogger - married to a native, working as an English teacher, still struggling with the language - and the main purpose of this blog is to give you an idea of what life is like for a multi-cultural couple in small-town Ibaraki.