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Jul. 6, Sun.*This program was first broadcast on Sep. 13, 2012

Crested Ibises

The crested ibis (scientific name Nipponia nippon) has beautiful pale rosy feathers that have been loved in Japan for centuries. The crested ibis used to live all over Japan, but at one point, because of overhunting and the destruction of its natural habitat, it disappeared from the wild. After a lot of hard work, crested ibises were successfully bred in captivity. And several years ago, they were reintroduced into the wild in Japan. Currently, the crested ibis lives in just one place in Japan: Sado Island. Farmers in Sado are working hard to create a pure natural habitat for the ibises. Some of them are tending their rice fields without any agricultural chemicals.

On this edition of BEGIN Japanology, our theme is crested ibises. The story of this bird's disappearance and eventual revival reveals various ways in which people are learning to coexist with the natural world.