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Shop hopes its deerskin goods focus minds on Japan's huge deer culls

63 Comments
By Yuki Hirakawa

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I think the owner expects too much from his clients but maybe some of them actually would reflect on the lives of deer as he wished, anyway he is making use of a product that was wasted and it producing something of quality.

His intentions of not upscaling his business would mean no future danger of more deer being killed just to provide skin.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

What a great innovation. Deer skin is a natural and durable product used for thousands of years. I wonder if there is an export market for this too?

6 ( +8 / -2 )

venison, if sold inexpensively, would be an amazing meat to eat. I am against culling deer if the meat is not sold as food and the skin is not used as well. There are deer farms everywhere. New Zealand alone has over a million deer in deer farms and are exporting venison everywhere. Japan can do the same with its venison and wild boar. Its such a wasted opportunity. Instead of culling deer and wild boar, they should create farms and raise them as livestock.

Such a wasted opportunity.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Do deer have a natural predator in Japan? There has been excellent benefits for the environment of returning apex predators to national parks to help with keeping the number of animals in a healthy balance.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

In all, more than 600,000 deer were captured or killed that year, the ministry said. The carcasses of a small proportion -- some 80,000 -- were used for game meat, but the skins were thrown away.

What the hell was done with the other 520,000? THAT is a waste! If anything the meat could be processed for animal/dog food, but better yet, it should be processed and sold in supermarkets!

I get the rational for culling the herds, but the waste is unforgivable!

13 ( +16 / -3 )

Venison makes for a great dog food too.

Both my dogs love it.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Do deer have a natural predator in Japan?

Humans

There has been excellent benefits for the environment of returning apex predators to national parks

Japanese wolves and humans didn't not mix well. They are now extinct

What the hell was done with the other 520,000? THAT is a waste! If anything the meat could be processed for animal/dog food, but better yet, it should be processed and sold in supermarkets!

More payment is given if the dead animal is brought in for butchering, but usually it must be taken to a licensed processor within an hour or two after being killed in order to (understandably) ensure freshness and safety. This is obviously very hard in mountainous and remote areas (where deer live), hence why most can not be processed.

Instead of culling deer and wild boar, they should create farms and raise them as livestock.

Tell this to Nara.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

As a deer and boar hunter here in Japan, I am happy to see this!

-3 ( +9 / -12 )

Most Japanese have the misconception that venison stinks. Although there is an abundance of venison here relative to other countries, most of it goes to waste. Most townspeople won't touch venison meat and they don't care about leather products either. Because it "stinks". And that's a shame.

But probably like everything that is unusual here, the price will be exorbitant and maybe the target will be hipster-ish group of people.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

I rather see deer running wild than products made of their skin! It's frigging disgusting!

-10 ( +7 / -17 )

People that love animals don't eat them.

-15 ( +6 / -21 )

People that love animals don't kill them and rip their skin off.

-9 ( +6 / -15 )

After extinction of wolves, deer numbers ballooned, and they became pests, especially in Nagano and Hokkaido areas. I know that in Hokkaido the government tried all kind of incentives to increase the consumption of venison, but they were not very successful

8 ( +9 / -1 )

The meat can be processed for animal/dog food.......WHAAAAAAAT?!?! Screw dogs eating venison.....serve it to the people!! Ezoshika is delicious and served at many yakiniku and jinghis khan shops in Hokkaido. When I lived in Sapporo we used to eat at a local izakaya that sold wild game such as deer, wild boar and even bear. It always astounds me that the Japanese will eat anything you pull from the ocean or the entrails of customary animals, but turn their nose up at wild game. Not coming from a hunting background, I wish I could learn to hunt and process the animal to utilise it fully and not let it's death be for nothing. Rural Japanese towns are under attack from increasing numbers of especially boar, but the number of hunters are dwindling and their age is getting ever older. To get a hunting/gun licence in Japan is an arduous task and unfortunately way above my Japongo level.

Sustainable, subsistence-style hunting should be encouraged.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

People that love animals don't eat them...

I love animals....especially roasting over a healthy fire, sprinkled with salt n pepper and a few choice spices.......Yum!

5 ( +17 / -12 )

I feed my dog venison topper from wild caught Hokkaido venison. The deer is processed in a jibie wild game processing center, and is usually sold for human food (especially restaurants). But with Covid, they had a tough time selling, so I buy the tougher and cheaper cuts (shoulder), and pressure cook it. Much lower fat than farmed meat. But I grew up in NZ on hunted venison, so always been a fan.

Unless Asiatic wolves are reintroduced, then humans are the only apex predator capable of controlling deer and boar numbers.

I couldn’t pass my hunting license, (ironically the shotgun license is easier for me to pass than the hunting license).

5 ( +6 / -1 )

The article is about deer and deerskin products, but we get the honor of having the vegans instead.

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

Venison is my Golden Retriever's favorite food. Healthy and does wonders for his coat.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Can’t say I see the difference between eating deer meat/using deerskin products, and eating dog meat/using dog skin products.

No need to be a vegan to see that some things are just beyond the pale.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

Veggie Lives Matter!

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Venison is great meat, I’d love To be able to hunt here.

The environment would be far better off if industrial meat processing was stopped and natural hunting/farming the main way to get meat

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Instead of culling deer and wild boar, they should create farms and raise them as livestock.

Tell this to Nara.

Nara is different. The tourism from people coming to see and feed the deer makes them income earners not pests. I just think culling is a waste. If you are going to kill an animal, might as well eat it.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I love venison! It's very delicious when properly seasoned and cooked.

Unfortunately, here in Japan the deer have become a serious pest, not only for farmers, but also because they cause a considerable amount of damage to the forests and worsen the erosion problem.

I'm glad to hear that one creative person is finding a good way to put the skins to a good use.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

How would you like it if you saw products made of human skin because there are too many of us... Frigging disgusting I am sure...

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

My chef friend tells me that a Pinot Noir goes well with venison.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

My chef friend tells me that a Pinot Noir goes well with venison.

Red wine or beer for me.

had raw venison in Iga Mie. Best meat I ever had in my entire life!

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

The susal suspects, once again raising the bar on lowering the bar...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I'm sure if the problem of overpopulation was explained to the deer, they would voluntary practice birth control and endeavor not to eat farmer Taro's lettuce crop. OR farmer Taro could give up his generations long home and let it go back to the wild, he could move to Tokyo and become one of the people who posit on things they know absolutely nothing about.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Its a shame not more of the deer are used for either meat nor leather.. wasteful...

1 ( +5 / -4 )

deer skin makes beautiful leather. I don’t know why it hasn’t been exploited before.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

People that love animals don't eat them...

And anyone who loves fresh vegetables don't eat them either!

6 ( +9 / -3 )

@Tokyo-m

People that love animals don't kill them and rip their skin off.

I was taught that whats is today's pet might be tomorrow's dinner..

There is nothing wrong with eating animals...what is wrong is others trying to shove their beliefs down others' throats...because its people who do this have very little idea about others realities.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Aly Rustom

Its such a wasted opportunity. Instead of culling deer and wild boar, they should create farms and raise them as livestock.

Such a wasted opportunity.

How about no? We should be aggressively reduce industrial meat production (and consumption of meat altogether), not increase it.

If you really must eat meat though, then it's of course better you eat wild game - then at least the animal has had a good, natural life up until its death.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Edward Abbey, the environmentalist and noted author, dubbed deer: antlered rodents. Which to a very certain degree is true.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

 Instead of culling deer and wild boar, they should create farms and raise them as livestock.

and then cull (kill) them..... (⌒▽⌒)

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I miss eating whitetail deer for dinner.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Deer meat is very healthy and if butchered properly one large male deer can last a long time and provide high quality meat. A skilled hunter can harvest a deer in one shot, the deer won’t even know it. A well placed heart or spine shot does the job every time. It’s inexperienced and trigger happy hunters that just want to kill something that give ethical hunters a bad image.

if the whole animal is used, skin and all, there is absolutely nothing wrong with deer hunting. I’ve never been in japan but in the US, NZ and Australia there’s nothing like a bucks meat

1 ( +4 / -3 )

If you really must eat meat though, then it's of course better you eat wild game - then at least the animal has had a good, natural life up until its death.

And if you really have to sustain yourself by eating veggies, then you had better show respect for killing the life of the vegetable, so that you may live!

Just like us meat-eaters do! I respect the lives of the animals, who died to sustain me and my family!

Oh, we slaughter vegetables too! Rather to have something positive come out of their deaths!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Why isn’t deer meat more popular in Japan?

Well, the cooked taste is dry and quite strong

Japanese palates are not open to strong tastes usually.

Rabbit meat would be far better to use as an alternative

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Yubaru

Just like us meat-eaters do! I respect the lives of the animals, who died to sustain me and my family!

Great, if you do. Then you're surely not buying and eating industrially produced meat, as there sure is nothing respectful in that. It is simply just horror and torture from the beginning to the end.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I was taught that whats is today's pet might be tomorrow's dinner..

There is nothing wrong with eating animals...what is wrong is others trying to shove their beliefs down others' throats

Try suggesting any of my pets might be tomorrow's dinner, and you'd find more than beliefs being shoved down your throat....

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Good luck with this.

I am well up for the meat but the rest will be a hard sell especially if for foreign tourists.

Not because they won't like the items or that it is skin but because returning home with them will be a hassle.

I use found antlers ( go into the forest yearly to pickup antlers that naturally fall off every year).

I use the material from these antlers to repair antiques as a replacement for missing Ivory parts.

Despite Japanese deer not being on any endangered species list and actually being on USA and UK invasive species list, I regularly get items I return to clients or items I sell, seized at customs causing massive headaches for all involved.

And yes I include all needed documents but customs in certain countries just ignore and require testing, which ultimately damages the recently repaired item.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Do deer have a natural predator in Japan? There has been excellent benefits for the environment of returning apex predators to national parks to help with keeping the number of animals in a healthy balance.

If they reintroduced predators the oyaji would only go after them.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Despite Japanese deer not being on any endangered species list and actually being on USA and UK invasive species list, I regularly get items I return to clients or items I sell, seized at customs causing massive headaches for all involved.

Only 3 species of deer are on the UK Government Invasive Species list: Fallow Deer, Muntjak Deer and Water Deer. Native Red Deer are hunted by poshos and those who just enjoy killing animals to feel macho.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Deer are blamed for environmental damage, how laughable, the only being responsible for the total fuxxxup of this planet are we humans: mining, ocean mining, logging and on and on I could go….

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I guess farmers would be against the re-introduction of wolves or lynxes...

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

With deer overpopulation you have no young trees in the forests, no rose bushes or gardens, lots or car accidents with animals., and eventually, starving deer.

The three main ways people approach deer overpopulation are hunting, introduction of predators, and birth control. Japan usually goes with hunters, and with that choice, I agree that all parts of the animal should be used.

Talking to the deer about being mindful of the environment, controlling their diet, and about not sowing their wild oats to such a great extent would be the gentlest way to deal with this, but tends not to be very effective.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

If they reintroduced predators the oyaji would only go after them.

You cannot reintroduce an extinct species!

The 2 species of Japanese Wolf are extinct.

One would have to introduce a foreign specie which may actually cause far more damage than good.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Only 3 species of deer are on the UK Government Invasive Species list: Fallow Deer, Muntjak Deer and Water Deer. Native Red Deer are hunted by poshos and those who just enjoy killing animals to feel macho.

https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/trees-woods-and-wildlife/animals/mammals/sika-deer/

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Thunderbird2

Obviously you don't know much about deer or read properly.

Deer lose their antlers every year, you can find them all over the forest where deer are abundant.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I guess farmers would be against the re-introduction of wolves or lynxes...

Japanese wolves are extinct, introducing the far larger grey wolf or stepped wolf in such a confined space as the Japanese islands would be devastating and extremely dangerous.

Linx have never been native to Japan and would make very little impact in deer population but would devastate local smaller wildlife such as birds, fox, local Mustelidae and tanuki.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Robert CikkiToday  08:51 am JST

Most Japanese have the misconception that venison stinks.

No misconception. Venison isn't known as being "gamey" in rest of the world for nothing.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@Antiquesaving

'Fossils of the Eurasian or a closely related Lynx species from the Late Pleistocene era and onward were excavated at various locations in the Japanese archipelago. Since no archaeological evidence after the Yayoi period was found, it was probably eradicated during the Jōmon period.' - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurasian_lynx

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Interesting how someone would vote negative on a simple fact Japanese wolves are extinct and other Wolf are far lager and more dangerous.

Or that link are have never been in Japan and rarely would one hunt a deer.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@cleo

Try suggesting any of my pets might be tomorrow's dinner, and you'd find more than beliefs being shoved down your throat....

oh really thanks for the laugh..

2 ( +3 / -1 )

To the anti hunting and reintroduce predictors.

You people must like to see deer suffer.

A pack of wolves will tear a deer apart still alive, they will kill it by chasing mauling it to death.

A hunter usually get a kill quite quickly and efficiently because they really don't want to go chasing the wounded animal for several kilometres.

No I don't hunt but I do know many who do

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@gundam origin

And the wholly mammoth once lived in Siberia.

Are you serious with that comment?

Pleistocene ended 11,000 years ago during the Pleistocene Neanderthal, Denisovan That is one big stretch of time.

Anyway the conversation has gotten into silliness when people start arguing bring back extinct species and introducing species that wouldn't even hunt deer unless very desperate and probably fail at it.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I am going to take a guess that few going on about introducing predictors ( again can't reintroduce as they are all extinct) have never actually lived in areas where wild wolves roam freely, try it sometime you may not enjoy it, but I recommend keeping little snowball the cat, or blacky the little dog inside unless you would like for them to become wolves dinner.

Grey wolves are nearly twice the size of the extinct Japanese Wolf, ( about coyote size).

Here is an example of what will not might but will happen.

In 1995 14 Canadian grey wolves were introduced into Yellowstone National park (8,991 km² population 0 ) by 2005 there were 13 packs and over 118 Wolves and were already leaving the park boundaries and killing domestic animals.

Now to put this into perspective, Aomori is 9,600 km² population 287,648

Akita is 11,000 km² population 315,814 so take a wild guess at the chances these wolves will remain were the deer are.

Coyote are closer in size to the extinct Japanese Wolf but coyote are not big on chasing down large game preferring to scavenge easier pickings like human garbage, pets, small livestock, etc.. and get very familiarised to humans and will attack if they think there is something in it for them.

I am not just going by stuff I read ( stats on Yellowstone park, yes) I grew up near wolves and coyotes seen pet cats taken by parks of both wolves and coyotes, had more than one dog killed by both.

It all sounds nice introduce predictors but reality is a very different thing.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

What a great innovation. Deer skin is a natural and durable product used for thousands of years. I wonder if there is an export market for this too?

Motorcycle gloves made from deer and/or elk hide are simply the best. They are soft and tactile yet offer better abrasion protection than cow hide. Also more durable.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Aly RustomToday  07:47 am JST

venison, if sold inexpensively, would be an amazing meat to eat. I am against culling deer if the meat is not sold as food and the skin is not used as well.

I agree. My own native American ancestors tried to make all industrial uses of animals possible. Deerskin makes good durable clothing and other goods, and the venison is delicious healthy meat. Don't just kill an animal for the heck of it or for one use only, use all you can get from it and kill only what you need.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

My own native American ancestors tried to make all industrial uses of animals possible.

The joke in the cattle industry is they use everything but the moo.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

How about no? We should be aggressively reduce industrial meat production (and consumption of meat altogether), not increase it.

that's exactly what we are doing with venison.

If you really must eat meat though, then it's of course better you eat wild game - then at least the animal has had a good, natural life up until its death.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

yes that's why we advocate wild venison! duh

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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