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Japanese culture

Learn about Japanese culture from this Japanese language blog by the JOI's professional Japanese teachers.

Posted by on in Japanese culture

Interesting birds in Japan

Japan is home to over 400 species of birds and many are indigenous and endangered species too. Many species are protected and there are almost 200 protected bird habitats, since the islands are also a prominent lay-over site for migratory birds as well.

For birdwatcher's it is a fascinating country, and there are numerous bird-watching enthusiasts and groups all around the country.

In this blog for language learners' Sachiko Someya, one of the Japanese teachers at JOI, tells of an encounter with one of the more interesting birds in Japan.

Read this short blog to learn some new vocabulary and phrases and also practice your reading skills for the JLPT test. You can also watch the video to listen to the blog read in fluent Japanese to practice your listening skills.

Bird Prey


By SOMEYA Sachiko





To listen to this blog, please watch our Youtube video.





Bird Prey

This happened at the end of the year last year, when we visited my husband's hometown. My mother-in-law called to me from the garden, saying “There is something rare here!”

When I went out to see, I was surprised to find a lizard pierced onto a branch of the tree. It was quite a shocking scene, but when I heard the explanation, I thought that it made sense. The 'Mozu' is a bird that is carnivorous and eats insects, frogs, lizards and sometimes animals larger than itself.

It has a habit of piercing and leaving prey that it had captured on twigs or thorns of trees. They sometimes call these 'Mozu no Hayanie' [butcher-bird prey impaled on twigs, thorns, etc. for later consumption]. There are various theories as to why these birds do this, it could be a form of preserving food, or perhaps a method of securing captured prey, or just instinct. In this season of autumn when this happens the most frequently, if you look carefully at tree branches or in hedges, you might encounter some 'Mozu no Hayanie' too.

年末(ねんまつ)  end of year

実家(じっか) one's parents' home

光景(こうけい) view, scene, sight

獲物(えもの) prey

習性(しゅうせい) habit

頻繁(ひんぱん)に frequently

遭遇(そうぐう)する encounter


Konnichiwa, My name is Sachiko Someya. I live in Yokohama city in Kanagawa prefecture. Yokohama is an attractive city with a lot of tourist destinations. If you ever get the chance, please come and visit. Learning a new language can bring you a lot pleasure but can also be difficult. I would like to help you to enjoy learning Japanese. Let's try hard together ! I'm looking forward to meeting up with you online.

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