The Blog Matsuri theme this month is about unusual things in Japan. I almost wrote about grapes and the moment I realised I was the only person in the room not peeling them before eating. I suppose you do what you have to when fresh fruit are scarce and a single strawberry can cost 200 yen.
This summer, however, my attentions are elsewhere. Every day for the past two weeks, I’ve checked on the progress of several tanks of kabutomushi beetles at my workplace. I’ve watched these creatures grow from larvae buried in the ground to shiny, black-cased bugs. I like shiny things.
The summertime craze for collecting insects in Japan is single-handedly responsible for anime like Mushiking and Pokemon. Some schools even have special programs which aim to give a kabutomushi to every child. So whenever I mention that my country simply doesn’t have beetles this large to Japanese people, their reaction is often one of surprise. It seems that for many, not having these beetles around is even stranger.
(The photos for this post are below, just in case there are phobic readers.)