How to Chase a Monkey: Reforming the Oiharai Response to Crop-Feeding Macaques in Japan

In: Society & Animals
John Knight Queen’s University Belfast United Kingdom

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This research is about the reform of the farmer’s chase response to crop-damaging monkeys in Japan. It focuses on a campaign to transform this chase response, known as oiharai, from a simple field-side act of expulsion into a collective, extended, and high-threat (but non-lethal) pursuit aimed at deterring future monkey visits. A number of problems with the reform are identified, including, most fundamentally, a shortage of residents in today’s depopulated, ageing villages able to do the chasing. In order to overcome this obstacle, attempts are made to boost this depleted chase capacity using (human and nonhuman) surrogate chasers.

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