I was surprised when I found a Japanese White-eye (Japanese name is mejiro) in Hawaii island. It was imported by a bird club name Hui Manu in 1937 and singing contests of the bird was held in Hawaii at that time. The bird that I found was also singing very beautifully.
Japanese rhinoceros beetle [名] カブトムシ rhinoceros [名] サイ
こちらは言わずと知れたカブトムシ。中軽井沢にある塩沢湖の近くの草むらにいました。英語の common name はJapanese rhinoceros beetleと言うそうです。学名はTrypoxylus dichotomus。私はクワガタ派ですが、カブトムシもカッコいいですよね。
This is a Japanese rhinoceros beetle. Its Japanese name is Kabuto mushi. Its scientific name is Trypoxylus dichotomus. We found it near by the Shiozawa lake in Kakaruizawa. This beetle is very popular for kids in Japan. It's cool.
We saw a wild Japanese Macaque, when we were walking the Shinanoji nature trail. I was so happy to see it. But for people live at Karuizawa, damage by the monkey is increasing. I think that preservation of the nature is the only way to prevent the monkey to come to the city, because monkey comes to the city by lack of their food in forest.
こちらは、おそらく多くの方が御存知のハハコグサ。春の七草の中の「ゴギョウ」です。名前の由来を調べたら、1) 新芽がやや這うことから「這う子」からなまった、2) 葉や茎が白い綿毛に覆われている姿を母親が子を包みこむ様子にたとえた、3) 白い毛に覆われている葉を「乳児の舌」にみたてた、4) 茎も葉が綿毛におおわれている姿を「ほうけた」ような状態に見たてた「ホウコグサ」がなまった、5) かつては「草もち」の材料としてポピュラーで「葉っこ草」と呼ばれており、それがなまったなどなどです。英名は Jersey Cudweed。ジャージー牛が反芻して食べる草。そのままですね。学名は Gnaphalium affine。英名が付いていますが、東アジアに主に分布しているそうです。
This is a Jersey Cudweed. Its scientific name is Gnaphalium affine. It grows extensively in East Asia including temperate regions of China, Korea, Japan, and Taiwan as well as some high altitude tropical regions of India, Nepal, and Thailand according to Wikipedia. It is one of the herbs consumed in the Japanese spring festival Nanakusa-no-sekku (seven-herbs festival). Japanese name of this plant is haha ko gusa, which means "a mother and children weed". Strange name, huh? There are several hypotheses of origin of the name, but the origin is still ambiguous.
この美しい花はベンケイソウの一種であるフチベニベンケイ (学名: Crassula portulacea) の花です。英語の common name は、Jade plant または、Money tree だそうです。フクベニベンケイの別名のカネノナルキは、Money tree の直訳でしょうか。ベンケイソウは葉が厚く，切り取って暫くおいてもしおれず，土に挿すと根が出て元気よく育ちはじめる丈夫な性質が弁慶に例えられたそうです。ベンケイソウ科の植物はCrassulacean Acid Metabolism （CAM) 植物と呼ばれ、特殊な光合成を行う事で有名です。通常植物は昼にCO2を取り込んで酸素に還元しますが、この植物は夜にCO2を取り込んで、酸素に還元するそうです。これは、この植物の本来の生息環境（砂漠）に適応するために発達した機構のようです。砂漠で昼間に気孔を開けると、水分が失われてしまいますもんね。ちなみにパイナップルも CAM 植物だそうです。
This plant is called Jade plant or money tree. Japanese name of this plant is Fuchi benkei or Kane-no-naruki, which means money tree in Japanese. This plant family has a very unique metabolism called Crassulacean acid metabolism, also known as CAM photosynthesis, which is an elaborate carbon fixation pathway in some plants. This plant fixes carbon dioxide (CO2) during the night (Ordinary plants fix CO2 during the day). The CAM pathway allows stomata to remain shut during the day; therefore it is especially common in plants adapted to arid conditions to inhibit evaporation of water from stomata. The Pineapple is also a CAM plant.
これはアセビの花です。漢字では馬酔木。その名が示す通り、馬が葉を食べれば苦しむという所からついた名前だそう。 多くの草食ほ乳類は食べるのを避け、食べ残されるため、草食動物の多い地域では、この木が目立って多くなることがあるそうです。英語の common name は Japanese andromeda。Andoromedaもまたギリシャ神話の王女の一人。有名なアンドロメダ星雲も、ギリシャ神話の王女の名前から付けられたのですね。学名は、Pieris japonica。名前の通り、日本を含む東アジア原産の植物です。
This plant is Japanese andromeda. Andromeda is one of Gleek goddesses. Japanese name is Asebi. Chinese character of this plant is 馬酔木, which means trees that make horse drunk. As the name indicate, this plant is toxic for plant eating animals including horses. Scientific name of this plant is Pieris japonica. It is native to east Asia including Japan.
Japanese Common Toad [名] ヒキガエル Tadpole [名] オタマジャクシ
2週間前に私の庭の池で見つけたヒキガエル (Japanese common toad) の卵ですが、実は先週孵りました。今日は近所の六郷用水路を散歩中、さらにたくさんのヒキガエルのオタマジャクシを発見。その数、数千。我が家の比ではありません。あまりの数に驚愕して動画を撮りましたので、載せます。数十メートルに渡って、この光景が続いています。オタマジャクシ達は食べるのに夢中なので、触っても逃げません。一体どのくらいのオタマジャクシがカエルにまで成長できるのでしょう？
When I was walking along a small canal near by my house, I saw a tremendous number of tadpoles of Japanese common toad. I took a video. The view continued 50 meters or so. The scene was just amazing. You can touch the tadpoles. They don't run away. I wonder how many tadpoles will be flogs.
今日、庭にある私が作った池を見てみたら、びっくり。ヒキガエルの卵がたくさんありました。これまでぜんぜん気がつきませんでした。春が近づいて、卵が成熟しはじめて、色がついたから見えるようになったからでしょうか？もうすぐ新しい生命が溢れる春ですね。ちなみにヒキガエルの英語のcommon name はJapanese common toad。学名は、Bufo japonicus。日本固有種だそうです。
Today, I found hundreds of eggs of Japanese common toad, which is endemic in Japan, in one of my ponds. I was so surprised, because I did not see anything like this during the winter. I think that since spring is coming, eggs are now getting mature and got a black color (tadpoles of this frog is black). So it is easy to see now. My pond is not so big. I may need to move some of tadpoles to somewhere. Japanese name of this flog is Hikigaeru, and scientific name of this flog is Bufo japonicus.
I saw "Japanese silver grasses" at the bank of the Tama river. Japanese name of this grass is susuki. Actually, I saw lots of this grasses in the US, too, and was wondering whether this plant in the US is the same plant in Japan. When I saw this plant in the US, I felt that this plant matches Japanese scenery more than that of the US's one. Probably it is because Japanese like simple beauty such as "wabi sabi", on the other hand, American like decorative flashy beauty. Today, I found a description that this plant was imported from Japan to the US. Its scientific name is this plant is Miscanthus sinensis. I played with the photo of the plant. Can you see the plant is sparkling silver under the sunlight?
今日は近所の公園でキツツキを見ました！東京23区でキツツキが見られるとは思っても見なかったので、興奮してたくさん写真を撮りましたが、どれもボケボケ。でもこれらの写真を総合して見ると、どうやらコゲラのようです。スズメと一緒に行動していて、スズメよりちょっと大きいくらいのサイズでした。コゲラの英名は Japanese pygmy woodpecker と言うそうです。pygmy は「小人」という意味ですよね。小さいけれど、やっぱりキツツキ。コンコンコンっと木をつついてドラミングしていましたよ。
I went to a park close to my house and saw woodpeckers. I've never expected that I was able to see woodpeckers in Tokyo. So I was so surprised and took many pictures. Since the woodpeckers moved so quickly, I was not able to take good pictures. But I think that I saw Japanese pygmy woodpecker. Japanese name of this woodpecker is "kogera" that means also small woodpecker in Japanese. Although they are small (little bigger than sparrows), they were drumming on trees.
I saw yellowish beautiful small birds on a tree in my garden. English name of this bird is Japanese white-eye. Japanese name of this bird is "Mejiro" that means white-eye in Japanese. The white ring around their eyes is very distinguishable. The song of this bird is very cute. Its native range includes east Asia, including Japan, China, Korea to southeast Asia, including Vietnam, Thai and the Philippines.
北海道にはウミウがたくさんいましたよ。ウミウの英名は Japanese Cormorant。このウミウが日本では鵜飼いに使われているタイプのウだそうです。ウミウの分布は日本、韓国、台湾、そしてロシアだそうです。
There are many Japanese Cormorants in Hokkaido. It is called umiu in Japanese that means cormorant in ocean. It lives from Taiwan north through Korea and Japan to the Russian Far East. It is one of the species of cormorant that has been domesticated by fishermen in a tradition known in Japan as ukai. The Nagara River's well-known fishing masters work with this particular species to catch ayu (Japanese trout).
I introduced flowers of Japanese Flowering Dogwood before (click here). This time, I found fruit of this plant. According to Japanese Wikipedia, the fruit is edible, and very sweet like Mango. It can be used for making fruit wine. If I knew it, I would have tried to eat one of these!
葉っぱの上に綺麗な色のコガネムシを見つけました。マメコガネというそうです。英名は Japanese beetle。学名は Popillia japonica。もともと日本の在来種ですが、移入先のアメリカで大繁殖してしまい、外来害虫として嫌われているようです。どうやらアヤメの球根か何かに紛れてアメリカに渡ってしまったようです。人や外敵が近づくと後ろ足をあげる習性があるのが特徴的。英語版のWikipediaにはとげのある「後ろ足で防御するため」と書いてありましたが、ちょっと違うような。綺麗な虫ですが、天敵のいない他所の国で迷惑をかけていると思うと申し訳ないです。
I found beautiful beetles on leaves. Name of this beetle is Japanese beetle. Scientific name is Popillia japonica. According to Wikipedia, As the name suggests, the Japanese beetle is native to Japan. The insect was first found in the US in 1916 in a nursery near Riverton, New Jersey. It is thought that beetle larvae entered the US in a shipment of iris bulbs prior to 1912 when inspections of commodities entering the country began. Although the beetle is beautiful, I feel sorry because the Japanese insect is making troubles in other countries. The beetles have a curious, identifying defense: they lift their hind legs up in the air, even when simply approached. According to Wikipedia, these hind legs are spiny, and the behavior is probably intended to ward off predators. I can't believe it. Does anyone know?
道ばたでよく見かける小さな紫色のかわいい花。思い立って名前を調べてみたところ、トキワハゼと言うようです。トキワハゼは日本各地、朝鮮・中国・東南アジア・インドなどに分布する一年草で、田圃の畦道や湿った草原・畑などに生育するそうです。花期は長く初春～晩秋で、和名の「常磐」は、花がほぼ一年中見られることに由来しているそうです。英名は Japanese mazus。小さな花にも名前がある事を知ると、なにか嬉しい気分です。
Name of this plant is "Tokiwa-haze" in Japanese that means eternal flower, because you can see the flower through almost all the season in Japan. English name is Japanese mazus. This plant is native to Japan, Korea, China, east Asia, and India.
I loved dogwood in the US. I found flowers like dogwood in a park close to my house. The name plate of the tree says "Yama-bousi". English name of "Yama-bousi" is Japanese Flowering Dogwood.". I was right. It's a kind of dogwood that is native to east Asia including Japan, China, and Korea. The white parts look like petals are not petals actually. Flowers are at the central part. Small yellow things in the central part are an aggregate of flowers.
This is a flower of Japanese wild radish. Japanese name is "Hama daikon". "Daikon radish" is getting popular in English, right? This "Hama dikon" is probably derived from "Daikon radish" and became wild. It's very popular in Japan around this season. I like this flower, since it's cute and tell me the wonderful season.
自然教育園は、本当に小さな生き物達の楽園です。立ち止まって目の前の草むらを眺めていると、次々といろいろな生き物が現れて退屈しません。草むらにカナヘビもいましたよ。カナヘビは日本固有種で、日本以外では見られないそうです。固有種ですが、英語の common name があって、Japanese grass lizard と呼ばれているそうです。Wikipediaの説明を読んでいて気に入ったのが、カナヘビの語源です。一説では可愛いらしい蛇の意で「愛蛇（かなへび）」と呼んだという説があるんだそうです。私はなぜかカナヘビってすごく可愛いと思うので、昔の人もそう思っていたのかと思うと嬉しいですね。
"The institute for nature study national science museum" in Tokyo is a paradise for small animals and plants. If you stop and look at grasses in front of you, you never get bored, because there are so many creatures appears constantly. I found a Japanese grass lizard in the grasses. This lizard is endemic in Japan. Japanese name of this lizard is "Kana-hebi". I found a putative origin of the name in Wikipedia. It says that Kana means "cute" in old Japanese and hebi means snake in Japanese. So it seems that our ancestors felt this lizard cute. I'm glad, because somehow I also feel this lizard so cute.
I saw a Japanese rat snake at the park. The adult snake reach a length of between 1-2 m (some of them reach 3 m), a girth of about five centimeters, and is the largest Japanese snake outside of Okinawa. But the snake is non-venomous, and not so aggressive. I'm glad that they still have a place to live in Tokyo.
Here is Japanese iris again. I saw it at the institute for nature study national science museum in Tokyo. Japanese distinguish three Japanese iris, Ayame, Kakitsubata, and Hanashobu, but English name of these three are all "Japanese iris". The Japanese iris that I introduced previously was "Ayame". This one is "Kakitsubata". The difference between the two is patterns on its petals. "Kakitsubata" and "Hanashobu" is also very similar except color of the pattern: Kakitsubata has a white dot and Hanashobu has a yellow dot on its petal.
私はアヤメが大好きです。凛としていて美しいですよね。日本のアヤメの英名は Japanese Iris と言うそうです。アヤメ、カキツバタ、ハナショウブは、とても良く似ていて区別するのが大変ですが、アヤメだけが花びらに黄色い綾の目模様を持っているそうです。なので、私が撮った下の写真はアヤメで良いと思います。雨上がりに撮ったので、雨の雫がとても綺麗に写って、我ながら気に入った写真です。
I love Japanese Iris. This flower is so beautiful. Japan has three similar kinds of flowers, but only Japanese Iris has yellow twilled pattern on its petals. I took the picture after rain. I like the picture, because rain drops on its petals are so beautiful.
Jungle crow comes to my parents' house for stealing food for stray cats. I saw American crow (46 cm) in USA, the jungle crow is little bigger (56 cm). Jungle crow lived originally in jungle or forest, but they live city also recently. Jungle crow is very similar to carrion crow, but their beak and forehead is different from the carrion crow. It is said that their voice is also clearer compared with carrion crow, but someone said that it is still difficult to distinguish the two kinds of crow only by their voice.