Marching deer

I visited Nara to see marching deer on March 16 & 17.

Marching deer is an event in winter. As you know, in Nara, a lot of deer are left at large. In parks, around temples and shrines, and everywhere, you can come across wild deer. During winter, since there are few travelers, they do not have sufficient amount of food. Volunteers, therefore, perform on the phone and deer will come to them to have some food. This is what we call marching deer.

Fortunately for deer, it was rather warm on March 17 and many tourists gathered around, feeding deer rice crackers. So many deer are a bit satisfied and not enthusiastically running hard to the horn player. Still, almost one hundred of the animals came running toward the plain called ‘Tobihino.’

Several years ago, before 3/11, we had a TV drama called “Shika-otoko Aoniyoshi” or “A great deer man” which is based on a Japanese traditional idea. We have an old tale that a huge catfish under this island nation shakes himself causing a big earthquake. To prevent this, a deer, a fox and a mouse push the fish under the ground. Every 60 years, however, the power weakens and they have a ceremony to make it stronger. This year, the deer has to take care of it and he chooses one teacher. But that teacher was tricked by a mouse and cannot get the material required to have ceremony. 

At the end of this drama, we saw a group of deer rushing and later I learned that it was a marching deer event. I had a dream to see it with my own eyes. Now my dream came true.