Tuesday, November 10, 2009

One wise monkey

A couple of weeks ago I was showing some American visitors around my village and they expressed surprise that monkeys were sometimes a "problem" for us, so, this little video I shot this morning is for them.

Actually the monkeys haven't been down in a month or so, and this has meant we were able to harvest persimmons this year. This morning, however, I heard a noise outside the window and sure enough there was this guy.

I suspect he was a scout. Often I've seen a single adult male come down to the village to check out what's "on" at the buffet. Usually a day later the whole troop will come down.

This guy was no dummy though. He didn't rush back to the troop to make his report, but stuck around half a day and filled his belly with the ripe fruit.

I say "guy", but I didn't get to check out his equipment, so it may have been a she. Seems in japan at least the female monkeys tend to be smarter. It was a female who discovered hot-spring bathing, and it was a female who discovered how to wash food.


  1. Believe it or not, I still haven't seen a wild monkey in Japan and this is my fourth time to the country. I got the feeling that around Gotsu there aren't too many, but seems like they do exist after all! That first monkey was pretty big...putting on his winter coat...

  2. In town you won't see them, but my place is technically Gotsu, and we have them a lot :)

  3. Lexi,

    There are plenty of wild monkeys on Yakushima if you ever get a chance to visit the island

  4. I saw a few ones in Beppu, and I remind they were a problem there as well.

  5. Nice videos and first one looks pretty genki.

    Monkeys are everywhere, but in summer they are in mountains. In winters, they come down so its more easy to spot. Near to Tokyo, I saw one walking along Tokaido line, it was just about 1h-1.2h from Shinagawa station.

  6. There's been a lot written on the subject of human/wildlife conflicts in Japan, and particular human/monkey conflicts. Here's my own post on the topic that includes some good references.

    In the Pines

    And one more reference:

    Sprague,DS, Iwasaki,N. 2006. Coexistence and exclusion between humans and monkeys in Japan:Is either really possible? Ecological and Environmental Anthropology 2.

  7. Mountaincat.... that may be true in your area, but round here they visit year round.

  8. Nice video! I have yet to see a monkey in Japan. I was hoping to see one on top of Mt. Misen on Miyajima, but was told they were all back in the forest having dinner. Maybe next time...

  9. Here are a couple of shots of the Mt Misen monkeys..