Matagi / Hunters

One of the fascinating things about life in Snow Country is that there are traditional ways of life still carrying on today. Foraging for vegetables and mushrooms, and hunting have long been vital for providing sustenance in mountainous areas, and are still important to this day. Here is a short documentary about a local hunter and his attitude to the mountains that support him. He also happens to be a chef and expert in preparing food taken from nature.

The Japanese mountains are full of wildlife: bears, boars, several species of deer, monkeys, tanukis, foxes, rabbits. Many of them are seen as a pest, and as hunting has become less popular, their populations have started to swell. Several areas have bounties on different types of animal.

Hunting has been providing game for the residents of Snow Country throughout the ages. In the Jomon period the heavy winter snow actually made it easier for the hunters to find the animals due to the tracks that they left.

There is still a strong link between the locals in Snow Country and their environment, as well as a healthy respect for nature and the bounty that it can provide.

 

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