Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Japanese Man Fought Off Bear with Karate

     I've never thought I would encounter a wild bear in Japan. However, Japan has two species of wild bears, higuma (ヒグマ) and tsukinowaguma (ツキノワグマ). Higuma, brown bears, are found in Hokkaido prefecture, and tsukinowaguma, Asian black bears, inhabit mountainous areas in Honshu.              
        It's extremely rare to encounter a wild bear in Japan, but it happens. It is told that Asian black bears don't eat human, but several people have been killed by the bear attack in mountainous areas in Japan every year indeed. When a mother bear is with her baby, she might attack a human to protect the cub. When some elderly people were harvesting takenoko, bamboo shoots, alone in mountainous area, they were attacked by an Asian black bear. Some people were attacked by a bear while they were fishing alone around river. Humans usually can not fight off a bear (without any weapon), but I saw the Japanese news that a man fought off an Asian black bear with karate techniques! It happened two times in the past a year. 

Hirohito Miyagawa
    On July 31 (just a few days ago), Hirohito Miyagawa, a Japanese 68-year-old man who is a karate expert, fought off Asian black bear, with using karate techniques. When he was trying to fix fence for his wasabi garden in highlands in Yamanashi prefecture, Japan, he felt someone just behind him. When he turned around, a black bear standing tall was ready to attack him. He kicked the bear's stomach and struck the chest two times. Then, when the bear lowered, he kicked the bear again.  Eventually, the bear fled to the mountain. Hiroto Miyagawa holds a 8th degree black belt in karate and has been teaching karate for 35 years.

Atsushi Aoki
     On September 1st in 2016, Atsushi Aoki, a Japanese 63-year-old man, fought off an Asian black bear. When he was enjoying fishing in mountain creek in Gunma prefecture, Japan, he noticed that a bear standing tall was watching him just 5m distance from him. Suddenly, the bear begun to attack him. He tried to hold the bear with his arms but was blown off immediately. The bear was extremely strong and knocked him down. He was scratched by long and sharp claws and bitten by the bear. He thought that he would be killed if he couldn't fight off the bear. He kicked and struck the bear, but it didn't seem to work. He finally jabbed at the bear's eye. It worked, and the bear fled to the mountain. He said that if he hadn't been karateka, he couldn't have fought off the bear. Atsushi Aoki holds a 5th degree black belt in karate. He has been practicing karate for 30 years.

       My husband also holds a black belt in karate, but he told me that it's impossible to fight off the bear with karate, and these two men are the best karate experts in Japan.

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