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Inoshishi (Guardian Boars) @ Goo Shrine (Kyoto)
The Japanese boar, also known as inoshishi, is a subspecies of wild boar native to all of Japan. It is a small, almost maneless, yellowish-brown subspecies with distinctive white whiskers extending from the corners of the mouth to the cheeks.
It features prominently in Japanese culture, where it is widely seen as a fearsome and reckless animal, to the point that several words and expressions in Japanese referring to recklessness include references to boars.
Boars are also seen as symbols of fertility and prosperity; in some regions, boars are thought to be drawn to fields owned by families including pregnant women, and hunters with pregnant wives are thought to have greater chances of success when boar hunting. The animal’s link to prosperity was illustrated by its inclusion on the ¥10 note during the Meiji period, and it was once believed that a man could become wealthy by keeping a clump of boar hair in his wallet.