Beetlemania

How popular can beetles possibly be? You wouldn’t believe it.

They’re a national addiction in Japan where beetles are more popular than dogs and cats.  Rhinoceros and stag beetles are considered “must have” pets for young Japanese boys are are passionate about collecting and fighting them. Bugs are more than a pastime in Japan.  They’ve developed into a love affair.

I could buy almost anything from vending machines during my trip to Japan.  There were fortune telling machines, ones for sake, dried squid and some for catching your own lobster.  Others offered fresh eggs, umbrellas and, for those in need, even lingerie.  But the ones that surprised me the most were those that sold live bugs.

Then there are those collectors who want only the best and largest bugs of their kind.  How much is someone willing to pay for owning such a specimen? A single beetle recently sold in Tokyo for ninety thousand dollars. Now that’s a serious collector!

There’s a wonderful documentary about “beetlemania” in Japan. Watch this trailer for Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo.

1 thought on “Beetlemania”

  1. I used to be terrified of bugs until I started handling giant hissing cockroaches as part of my docent talks at the Bearsley Zoo several years back. What fascinating creatures. Once I understood the role they play in keeping the planet clean and held one in my hand the spell was broken. Had a similar epiphany with snakes!

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