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Enemies Of The People

At first I thought this was a somewhat feeble effort at public poetry by the Minato City municipal government, but it turns out there really is a crow menace in Arisugawa Park. I used to think the mayor of Tokyo was kind of crazy because of his public hatred of foreigners, post-menopausal women and crows, but now I’m kind of with him on the birds. They actually do come down on you like a bat out of hell and attempt to take a divot out of your head if you stroll unsuspectingly beneath their nests!

And the crows are diabolically smart. Local governments have been foiled many times in their crow eradication schemes, most notably in Kagoshima when a campaign to destroy their nests to prevent any more from being hatched failed dismally. The crows merely built decoy nests for the government workers to demolish, and moved their REAL nests elsewhere.

But the dive bombing is a minor problem compared to garbage pilfering. These days, we have to diligently stash our garbage under weighted nets like these on collection day…

…or it ends up looking like this:

Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Tokyo

When Detective Kenji Nakamura’s phone rings with the news that his mother’s death wasn’t an accident, his life begins to unravel…read more

Jonelle Patrick View All

Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!

5 thoughts on “Enemies Of The People Leave a comment

  1. True story: A crow once snatched an o-nigiri out of my hand as I was strolling down the Kamogawa in Kyoto. It batted my face with its wings and scratched up my hands with it’s talons in the process.

    • You know, it’s funny, but my reaction when I read this was to look at the sky, but not anticipating menace. I looked up at the tree branches framing patches of blue. Maybe this is one of the things poetry is meant to do, to make us look up from our business and see what’s around us, in a different way.

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