Ussuri Brown Bear

UssuriBrownBear_flat

Sam, as you are well aware, your grandmother is from Japan. This makes you partially Japanese, which is pretty cool. Before you were born, even before your parents were married, your dad went to Japan. He bought me this mug:

Hokkaido mug

As you can see, it has a big bear on it. This bear is Higuma Bear, or the Ussuri brown bear, or known by the locals in Hokkaido as “Boss of Forest.” They are the ancestors to American Grizzly bears (they crossed to Alaska about 100,000 years ago, when there was a land bridge).

Higuma are, like all bears, looking for a good time. They like to slide on snow covered hills on their bellies and make bubbles in the water with their noses. They love picnics, Samurai movies, and fighting with tigers. They, like many things in Japan, are mysterious and beautiful. “Most Fierce Bear of Hokkaido.”