The year of the inoshishi


You may think it's 2007, but in Japan, it's now officially the year of the boar. And as it turns out, there's no better place to celebrate it than on the Izu Peninsula -- specifically, at Inoshishi-Mura, which translates roughly to "Boar Village." Yes, it's an entire theme park devoted to wild boars! You can visit a rather comprehensive museum that covers the life of the boar from cradle to stewpot, watch the boar races, eat Boar Jerky (inoshishi is actually pretty tasty), or -- my favorite -- take in some of the antics of the boars-in-residence. For those of you not planning to travel to Izu ever anytime soon, here are six videos I took of what amounted to an inoshishi circus:

They play soccer!

They jump through hoops!

They outsmart people who want them to jump through hoops!

They walk the plank!

They climb stairs and go down slides!

They refuse to do anything of the sort!

And have I mentioned how cute the babies are? (Needless to say, this is not my video -- but it may just be the best game show ever.)