Every year there are bear sightings in Japan, and recently, they’re becoming more frequent, both on the mainland, where the Asiatic black bear resides, and up in Hokkaido, which is home to the larger Ussuri brown bear, also known as the Ezo brown bear.
While both types of bear are dangerous, Hokkaido’s brown bears are particularly fearsome — an encounter with a brown bear is more likely to result in injury, due to their size and ferocity. In fact, the worst bear attack in Japanese history involved a brown bear, and the story of what happened is like something out of a horror film, as the bear killed seven people and seriously injured three others in a Hokkaido settlement over a five-day period.
The attack is known as the Sankebetsu brown bear incident, although it’s also referred to as the Tomamae brown bear incident or the Rokusensawa bear attack, as it took place in Rokusensawa, Sankebetsu, in the town of Tomamae in Hokkaido.
As the incident took place over a century ago, between 9-14 December 1915, younger generations may not know about the horrific attack that literally stained the town, but locals are determined to keep the story alive as a cautionary tale for others.
▼ Which is why the Sankebetsu Brown Bear Incident Reconstruction Location exists in the area.
Online reviews for the reconstructed site include comments like: “I couldn’t visit it alone“, “It’s too creepy” and “I was too scared to leave the car“. These comments aren’t exaggerating things, as the official website for the town even warns visitors that “it’s not well-lit, even in …continue reading