In the February 1968 issue of American Cooner, dog breeder David M. Clark states, “The FIRST Treeing Walker Hounds introduced into Japan were from my kennel.” I realize it’s a stretch to categorize this as Asian literature, but it was published in a magazine, and mentions Japan, so there we go. I stumbled upon this random association over Christmas, while thumbing through my father’s old hunting magazines.
Mr. Clark’s kennel was in Salem, Indiana, less than an hour’s drive from my hometown, which certainly fuels my fascination with this article. Mr. Clark sold two Treeing Walker Coonhounds to “Mr. Tnaka Morriichi” (likely Moriichi Tanaka when properly romanized and adapted to English naming conventions). Mr. Tanaka apparently lived in Hajima, Tokyo, and instead of hunting raccoons, used the dogs to hunt wild boar (inoshishi, 猪).
It’s hard to imagine coonhounds and boar hunters in Tokyo, even in 1968 Tokyo. However, the western side of the prefecture is less urban. And, although the licensing process is expensive and complex, boar hunting in Japan is still practiced today. Perhaps some Japanese readers out there know more about this. If so, please comment!
A big thanks to Yoshio, Mac, and Izumi for sharing what they know of boar hunting in Japan. Boar hunting is still done for sport in limited areas, and the meat can be found in dishes such as shishi nabe (wild boar stew, also called botan nabe) and Japanese curry. The Matagi, a group of farmers and winter hunters in the Toukohu region (see map), hunt boar, although they’ve traditionally focused on bear and Japanese serow. Around Tokyo, boar hunting occurs in Yamanashi prefecture, east of Tokyo, and perhaps in Okutama and Ome, near Yamanashi and neighboring Gunma prefectures (map). A village in Yamanashi is even named “boar hunting,” which, after a little research, I believe is Ikari-cho (猪狩町), near Kofu(甲府). Boar are also considered pests, destroying crops and entering urban areas. Therefore, in addition to being hunted with dogs and firearms, they are sometimes trapped.
Thanks again for your input!
Below are photos from Wikimedia Commons of a Japanese serow and shishi nabe (my apologies to vegetarian readers).