Brown Bears

I did not expect to watch brown bears in Shiretoko. But unexpectedly, I saw four brown bears. And in short, it made me sad.

When I arrived at Shiretoko, I was shocked at how many brown bears lived close to humans because it meant that we would have to get rid of them. For example, there was a river near my hotel. And some people found footprints of brown bears on the riverbank. But some of the people who live in this area have less knowledge about brown bears than me. I was again shocked about that, too.

I heard that Shiretoko is known as a place where humans and brown bears coexist. So I expected that the locals were well-trained about the relationship between brown bears and humans. When I shared some knowledge about brown bears which I learned from professional guides with people in this area, they seemed to understand their sitiation.

To know about brown bears and how to co-existing with them, I think that the most powerful and easy way to understand how we should behave is to witness the face of guides who have truly come face to face with brown bears. When they remember the moment and share the story of what was going on, we can see twitches in their faces of the fears in their memories. This speaks to everything about how we can maintain dignity between us. We both need to feel fear and it maintains the dignity of each of us.

Also we need to see loveliness in them. But most impotant is having fear. Having fear creates healthy boundaries between us. And the second most important thing is that seeing loveliness helps us to know them in a healthy way without killing them violently.