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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Looking at Japan's Insects and Fish

A pleasure of visiting a faraway country is getting to see new and different things. This can range from the very big (i.e., castles) to the very small.

Looking at Japan's Insects and Fish

One day while visiting a castle ruin in Tsuwano I was looking closely at the plants and flowers, and I noticed several insects. At that moment a great revelation struck me: I recognize these bugs from "Animal Crossing!"

That little gem of a videogame by Nintendo was originally titled "Animal Forest" in Japan before it arrived on American shores in 2002. Part of the game involved catching bugs and fish, and I spent long hours with my net and fishing pole in a crazed, obsessive quest to catch them all. Over time I have played every incarnation of "Animal Crossing."

Looking at Japan's Insects and Fish

To my immense delight, I have come across various insect and spider species in our travels throughout Japan. Some of them I recognize from the game, while others come as a new and pleasant surprise. During my trip to Kyushu I came across a Blue Admiral Butterfly on the grounds of Kumamoto Castle.

When it comes to fish, the only ones we saw except for koi carp had been prepared for us as meals. Red snapper ("I caught a red snapper! Snappity, snap, snap!") tastes pretty good. And what do you think about sweetfish ("I caught a sweetfish! Deelish!")?

Japan's Insects and Fish

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