What Is The National Animal Of Japan?

Did you know that many countries around the world have designated one or more animals as their country’s national animal? From the fennec fox in Algeria to the Venezuelan troupial in Venezuela, numerous countries have a special animal that the country uses to show their values or their special wildlife native to that area.

After hearing this, you may be wondering what some other counties have as their national animal, and in this article, we will be looking at specifically the national animal of Japan. 

What is the national animal of Japan? 

The national animal of Japan is the Japanese green pheasant. This bird has been regarded as the country’s national animal since the 81st Meeting of the National Bird Society of Japan in 1947. This bird was selected to be the national symbol of Japan because it is unique to Japan and it is a large part of many Japanese folk tales, which has resulted in this bird becoming an important part of the Japanese culture.  

RELATED: What Is The National Animal Of Germany?

What makes the Japanese green pheasant so special? 

The Japanese green pheasant, which is also known simply as green pheasants or kijis, is endemic to Japan. That means that the Japanese green pheasant is an animal that is unique to Japan. The only exception is the nearby island Hokkaido.

The Japanese green pheasant has been introduced to other parts of the world, such as the Hawaiian Islands, western portions of the United States, and some parts of Europe, but they are not native to those areas. Throughout Japan, this species is fairly common and widespread throughout the entire island nation.  

The National Animal Of Japan
The National Animal Of Japan

The Japanese green pheasants can often be found in grassy and bushy areas, in meadows, and in light forests in the wild, but they can often be found living near farmlands and other human settlements. 

These pheasants are green colored, which is where they got their names. Both males and females have a green body, but the male is a bit brighter, while the coloring on female green pheasants is more dull and subdued.  

These birds are omnivores, which means that they eat a combination of animal products and plant products. They eat other small animals, such as worms and insects, but they will also eat grains, seeds, and plants.  

Personality-wise, Japanese green pheasants are a bit restless and fearful. Even if they are being raised in captivity, they will often remain a bit more on the wilder side. They startle very easily and they will often hide in vegetation or shrubs. They also seek sanctuary in places like this that allows them to feel safe and sleep there at night. 

One thing that makes these birds unique is that they have been known to be very sensitive to earth tremors that are not even felt by humans. Because of this, they are able to alert humans (by creating a sound that is similar to a scream) of impending earthquakes.

RELATED: What Is the National Animal of Spain?

Japanese green pheasant in a paddy field
Japanese green pheasant in a paddy field

This is especially important because the island of Japan is located along the “Pacific Ring of Fire.” This is because it is by three tectonic plates, making the country more prone to earthquakes than many other parts of the world.  

Do all countries have a national animal? 

There are over 100 different animals that have been named a national animal for over 70 countries all over the world (some countries have more than one national animal- Mexico, for example, has seven!). For the countries that have an official national animal, the animals are often broken up into a few different groups.

A national bird of Japan is the green pheasant, a national dog like the Kangal shepherd dog from Turkey, a national aquatic animal such as Thailand’s Siamese fighting fish, a national predator such as in Pakistan that has a snow leopard as their national predator, a national mammal like the jaguar in Mexico, or even a national mythical animal like the unicorn being the national animal in Scotland.

And Japan is not the only country with a national bird – Australia has the emu as their national bird, the Bahamas have the flamingo in that honor, and the United States has the bald eagle as the national bird of the country.  

Leave a Comment