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Monday, April 28, 2014

The Japanese Hare

The Japanese hare (Lepus brachyurus) is found across almost all of Japan: Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu—all the main islands, except Hokkaido.

There are four subspecies of this hare:
  • Lepus brachyurus brachyurus; 
  • Lepus brachyurus angustidens;
  • Lepus brachyurus lyoni; 
  • Lepus brachyurus okiensis.
One of these we looked at briefly in a Japanese Fairy Tale presented HERE, a few days ago… which is what got me wondering about rabbits/hares in Japan in the first place.

I've written about extinct or threatened animals in Japan in the past, but the Japanese hare - there's no problem.

Even though the hare is found in the mountains or hilly areas around Japan, hey also can handle forest or brush areas… and despite us human beings moving everywhere, the Japanese hare is also living in urban environments, even becoming a nuisance there.

The Japanese Hare, like all rabbits and hares, is nocturnal, preferring to eat in the late evening and early morning - probably because that's when fewer predators are about.

Despite their proclivity to breed like, well, rabbits, these are solitary creatures, and only get the male and female sexes together during mating season.

The Japanese hare has a litter of one to six, but will often have more than one litter every year, once the female reaches maturity at around one year of age…. which of course is confusing… didn't I say they only got together to do the wild thing during mating season?

If so, how do they have multiple litters? Is there more than one mating season a year for Japanese hares? I would have to assume so, or note that there is no actual mating season, and that's why these hares enjoy doing the bunny hop.

Just like with humans, the Japanese hare will chase the females around, and will, if necessary, box rival males to keep them away and to allow some bom-chikka-wah-wah. If you know what I mean, and the fact that some of you are sounding out that weird phrase and smiling, shows you watch or at least know about the music of porn.

Here are some specs for the Japanese Hare:
  • Color: Reddish-brown fur; but the Sado Island variant, and other places where there is heavy snowfall, the Japanese hare will lose its color, turning white in the autumn until spring when it regains the reddish-brown hue;
  • Body Length: 45-54 cm (18-21 inches);
  • Weight: 1.3-2.5kg (2.9-5.5lbs);
  • Tail Length: 2-5cm (0.79-1.97in.);
  • Ear Length: 6-8cm (2.4-3.1in.);
  • Front Leg Length: 10-15cm (3.9-5.9cm);
  • Back Leg Length: 12-15cm (4.7-5.9cm).
Japanese Hare wearing his/her winter coat.

Like every other type of rabbit and hare, the Japanese hare eats grasses, shrubs and bushes… but, this one will also eat tree bark, which will cause big damage to trees and forests as a whole. Those wascawy wabbits.

Just like everywhere else in the world, some people eat rabbit, and the Japanese hare is no exception, so people will cull the population and eat the meat and use the pelts. I have a winter hat in the classic Russian style made of rabbit.

And, before you get all crazy on me, I have also owned a rabbit… for a year or so before I though he, Happy, a common black rabbit from the Toronto area, would probably be happier hopping about with other rabbits on a provincial rabbit farm.

When we took him to the farm and placed him down on the scrub, he was immediately hopped upon by another rabbit intent on having sex. And that's when I realized Happy the rabbit was a she.

I think.

I suppose rabbit or hare homosexuality exists.. I have seen Bugs Bunny in some interesting cross-dressing, bestiality cartoons where he kisses a lot of male critters (Elmer Fudd and the Tasmanian Devil come immediately to mind)… and married Elmer in the Marriage of Figaro cartoon.

Andrew Joseph

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