Stag beetles and rhinoceros beetles in the current Japanese culture
(Pictures: Products in a DIY store for caring stag beetles and rhinoceros beetles.)I felt this is usual, probably because I have only lived in Japan. However I found several articles that realized me that this culture would be unique. Let me introduce you some of them.
I took surveys in international meetings and conferences how participants from various countries feel about caring stag beetles. “Many Japanese love stag beetles and taking care of them in their home. Does your country have a similar culture to Japan?” Surprisingly almost all the responses were like “No! It’s beyond me”. (Ref.1, Translated by Suzukake)
For many Americans, it may be hard to understand the attraction of buying large black bugs that try to pinch their owners. The typical impulse on seeing an ohkuwagata would be to shriek and run. (Ref.2)
DIY stores and even supermarkets sell plastic cases, cages and butterfly nets for rhinoceros beetles. The culture that even non-amateurs cares rhinoceros beetles is almost Japan specific. The reason why we see butterfly nets and cages in DIY stores, plenty of insect illustrated encyclopedia in bookstore is children’s demand for the insects. We would not see those products abroad. (Ref.3, Translated by Suzukake)
I just like to see people looking at the same thing in different way. I am curious where this difference is coming from. If you are interested in this topic, I recommend you an article in Ref.4. A Japanese author living in the U.S. describes the Japanese culture.
*The culture is not only Japan. According to my friend working at stag beetle shop in Taiwan, Taiwan also has similar culture.
*We should be aware that the majority of Japanese does not like insects. (e.g. Over 60% young people do not like insects in Japan (N=1,000, Generation around 20s-30s, Ref.5)).
1. Koichi Goka, the Chunichi Shimbun, March 11, 2010
2. Nicholas D. Kristof, The New York Times, APRIL 10, 1999
3. Yoshiyuki Nagahata, The Nikkei, July 26, 2014
4. Akito Y. Kawahara, American Entomologist, Fall, 2007
5. MyNavi news, Oct. 27, 2012