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Saturday, April 23, 2016

No More Philosopher Tree

To tree or no to tree, that was the question. Now, one farmer, fed up with rude trespassers - both foreign and Japanese has cut down a local tourist attraction - the Philosopher Tree.

Cut down on February 24 of 2016, the 30-meter tree situated in a farmer's field in Biei, Hokkaido is no more, after trespassers looking for that perfect photo or opportunity to touch the tree continued to ignore warning signs, trampling the farmer's crops.

Planted in the 1960s, the farmer himself says he will miss the tree, but enough was enough.

"I don't have to be bothered any longer," explaining that he had feared that the old tree may fall by itself and cause damage to crops in the surrounding fields or injure tourists who trespassed on the fields to see the tree.

While foreign tourists were often cited as the leading cause of the trespassing, locals say it was actually the Japanese tourists who were the most rude, shouting back at those warning them not to trespass.

Trespassing on private farmland is against the law. Farmers also voiced concerns that germs on shoe soles could contaminate soil.

Biei is famous for potatoes, but one kind of potato pest, a species not native to Japan, was found in Abashiri, a Hokkaido city some 200 kilometers east of Biei, last August for the first time.

Yeah... well, (whether) 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles, and, by opposing, end them.

Now we know. Philosophize amongst yourselves.

Andrew Joseph

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