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Noroshi (Beacon)-The Teppobuchi (Hunters) of Aizu

掲載日:2017年5月11日更新

Akio Inomata is a hunter who lives in Kaneyama-machi, in the Oku-Aizu region of Fukushima Prefecture.
Why does he go to the mountains, and why does he hunt animals?
We focus on Mr. Inomata's outlook on life, as a man who calls himself a matagi (hunter), and makes a living from taking the lives of animals.

This video aims to promote greater understanding for the wealth of nature in Fukushima, and the culture that has developed around it.
We also hope that it will prompt viewers to reflect on Fukushima Prefecture, stricken by the Great East Japan Earthquake and the nuclear accident.

Matagi (hunter)
Matagi is the name given to groups of hunters, who have made a living from hunting since ancient times in the Tohoku and Hokkaido areas.
Centered on the Ani area of Akita Prefecture, they have developed unique religious and ethical views, and hunted bears in groups.
In the Tadami region of Fukushima Prefecture, people who hunt for a living have been known as teppobuchi, kariudo or yamaudo.

Mr. Akio Inomata
Influenced by his father, who was a teppobuchi, Mr. Inomata began hunting at the age of 23,
and he continues to hunt to this day, 40 years later.
There were many teppobuchi in the old days, but their numbers have declined over the years,
and now, Mr. Inomata is the only one left in Kaneyama-machi to pass on the ancient tradition and culture.

Mr. Inomata stays in close touch with nature throughout the year, even outside the hunting season.
He remains sensitive to the subtle daily changes in the vegetation and ecosystem of the mountains.
He wants more people to become aware of nature and life, in order to ensure the preservation of the beautiful wilderness of Fukushima and Japan.

Noroshi (beacon)
Back in the days when modern-day communication networks, such as telephones and the Internet did not exist,
people burned the droppings of wolves to generate smoke, to communicate with others who were far away.

But wolves, who were the apex predators of the wilderness in Japan were hunted to extinction, and the ecosystem has been changing since.
Mountains became filled with deer and boars, which have been eating grasses and trees and destroying forests.
When the vegetation disappears, insects and other animals that depend on it disappear, and in turn, the animals that feed on them also disappear.
The effects of these ecological changes will eventually affect people, too.

As a person who lives face-to-face with the life and death of animals and plants, immersed in the wilderness of Fukushima, how does Mr. Inomata feel about this situation?
The Aizu matagi, who appreciates the value of life, sends out a warning noroshi to modern-day society.

"Haru-yo Koi (Hurry Up, Spring)," a documentary film on Mr. Inomata was released in 2015.
Documentary film, "Haru-yo Koi"
http://www.miruphony.com/haruyokoi
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Noroshi (Beacon): The Teppobuchi (Hunters) of Aizu
Filmed by Yusuke Kashiwazaki, KiGARU inc.
Supervised by Fukushima Museum
Cooperation by Kaneyama-machi, Fukushima Prefecture

We would like to take this opportunity to express our deepest gratitude to Mr. Akio Inomata and
all other associated people for their cooperation in making this movie.

★Lots of fun movies promoting the seasonal charms and a variety of other up-to-date information on Fukushima are being uploaded to the Official Fukushima Prefectural YouTube Channel. Be sure to subscribe to the channel! →https://www.youtube.com/user/PrefFukushima


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