LOOK: Nara’s Deer Gather to Hear the Notes of Beethoven

(Click here to read the original article in Japanese.)

 

 

 

At this time of year, the parks of Nara host an unusual event called “Shikayose” — the “calling of the deer.” This takes place every morning from December 1 to 14, excluding December 9.

 

Be prepared for an unusual scene. As a man plays the French horn to the tune of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, known as the “Pastoral Symphony,” approximately 100 deer congregate as if being called by the classical music.

 

Now, admit that those are concepts you didn’t think you would find all in one sentence!

 

As the deer slowly move their hooves towards the musician, excited onlookers exclaim, “How cute!” to this curious occurrence.

 

The man playing music is part of a local deer protection association, the Nara Deer Aigokai. As the deer gather around him, he feeds them acorns, which the animals nibble happily.  

 

According to the association, this event started in the Meiji Era when, for the first time, a horn was blown to attract the deer.

 

The association aims to attract tourists by running such events in the winter and marketing them with Nara’s hotels and ryokans. In the summer, it’s the Nara Tourism Association that runs the events.

 

 

 

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