NHK TV Otsu reported that from April 2009, Shiga will restart the shooting of cormorant birds called kawau. They found that the kawau population in Shiga has almost doubled since last year to a whopping 74,000 birds. Most of them live on Chikubushima island where they have devastated the trees with their droppings and nests. The once picturesque and lush green island is going bald and brown.
Shiga wants to reduce the kawau population to 4,000 birds in 5 years. Wow, where will all those dead birds go? In the lake??
On Feb. 3, 2009, I went to see Setsubun mame-maki at Taga Taisha Shrine for the first time. They had an Oni demon dance group from Shimane-ken to act as the oni. They wore a gorgeous costume and they were the best-looking oni I ever saw for Setsubun.