Japanese 'Hunting Girls' Numbers Rising

Numbers of female hunter's increase, not only here in America, but now in Japan. The kari-gaaru's are making a name for themselves.

First there were mori-gaaru or forest girls, then yama-gaaru or mountain girls and now Japan is trending towards the new kari-gaaru, the hunting girls. It seems that the rise of women hunters is not just an American thing. According to the Japan Times, the Environment Ministry reported the number of hunters is down from 518,000 in 1975 to 190,000 in 2010 due to the core demographic advancing in age. The silver lining? An uptick in the number of women hunters, with 0.7 percent of Type 1 hunting license permit holders in 2009 being female.

The reason for the increase is, big surprise, due to the trendy green movement. These women want to know about the meat they're eating and where it comes from. Wild game's popularity in local restaurants has gauged peoples interest, and helped to spur the changes, along with recent coverage of damage caused by the overpopulation of animals.

The Japanese hunting association Dainihon Ryoyukai created a website called Mezase! Kari-Gaaru, or "Aim to be a Hunting Girl!." I, sadly, do not read Japanese despite my half-semester class. What I can garner from the look of the site, which you can see here, is that they have managed to soften the message. Dainihon Ryoyukai is attempting to appeal to non-hunters, women who are interested in the food movement and want to know about conservation and environmental protection. Personally, the cartoon images and airy, somewhat child-like feel to the website would not attract me to hunting; however, I am not a Japanese woman who has never thought about hunting in her life. To each their own, and if this is what will bring more women into hunting, that's great!

The video below shows a new female hunter. Unless you speak Japanese, you won't understand what they're saying, but it's still worth watching.

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4 Responses to Japanese 'Hunting Girls' Numbers Rising

Left Coast Chuck wrote:
May 18, 2014

Okay, here's the run down. The manga is about how Ari-chan (Ari, a girl's name, chan is the diminutive or familiar form of the name) became a hunter. Each number is a step in her quest to become a kari-gaaru (huntress) Yama-gaaru (mountain girl)(gaaru is the Japanese vocalization of the English word 'girl' The 'rl' consonant combination is especially difficult for Japanese speakers) is a popular genre of recreation in Japan presently. This involves hiking and camping in the areas of wilderness in Japan. While one thinks of Tokyo and millions of people when thinking of Japan, actually there are a lot of wilderness areas too. Ari-chan is an office worker in the Tokyo area. When she has completed all the steps to getting her hunting license she goes to Hokkaido and gets her first deer. The video describes how there are now more women hunters in Japan than male hunters. It also talks about the first hunt of a student hunter. She thought she was going to get a wild boar but wound up with a deer instead. The guy with the glasses is her milktoast husband who doesn't hunt, just enjoys eating the venison his wife harvested. Sociologically there is a sea change in Japan. The days of the dominant male are fast disappearing and it is the Japanese woman who is finding challenging sports and a more active life-style appealing. This is an interesting manifestation of that trend. I knew that the numbers of male hunters were dramatically declining in Japan and the depredations of wildlife, pigs and bears in particular, are becoming a problem in Japan. The Japanese government is wrestling with the problem of too many wild animals in the country. It was interesting to see in the video that there are significantly more women hunters (the red graph line) than male (the green graph line). Very interesting article. Thanks for presenting it.

Left Cost Chuck wrote:
May 15, 2014

It is a common sight riding the commuter trains to see both men and women reading 'comic books' in Japan. Manga is popular in both the printed and the electronic media in Japan. Very popular movies are in the manga genre, both children's and adult's motion pictures.

Andy wrote:
May 14, 2014

She hunts wild boar and deer, among other things. When I lived in Japan I knew a guy who lived in different would hunt deer and boar and grill stuff up in his restaurant it was great! He used an old Remington 700 and a 742 semi. I hope hunting continues to gain in popularity there are a lot of mountainous lightly or non inhabited areas that would be perfect for hunting.

CR Cobb wrote:
May 14, 2014

'... the cartoon images and airy, somewhat child-like feel to the website would not attract me to hunting; ...' The a strong adult readership of manga (serialized cartoon books) in Japan. Different culture; different marketing techniques.