Residents of the northern Japanese region of the country’s Iwate Prefecture use rock music to protect themselves from bear attacks.
Amid a spike in bear sightings in rural Japan, the local government used a commissioned rock song that will be played throughout the region.
“So you think cubs are cute,” the song begins, accompanied by guitars and drums.
“Get rid of that naive way of thinking!” Near this bear cub is a bear parent, and he will suddenly attack you! Roar, roar, roar, roar, roar, roar – it will suddenly attack you! “
The track was written by a duo of local rock artists in their sixties. Their song offers plenty of advice for those who might encounter one of nature’s scariest animals, such as “never turn your back and run away” and “trying to play dead doesn’t work”.
One of the performers, Yuuzen Taguchi, 69, said his own advice may have saved him when he ran into a bear while walking near a field, The Guardian reported.
“It’s very scary when you appear right in front of you,” he said.
Taguchi attributes his knowledge to his grandparents who taught him what to do if he meets a bear.
“You want to run away, but my grandparents told me years ago that if you ever meet a bear, don’t turn around and back away slowly,” he said. “I was taught this rural knowledge that comes from living with bears as a child.”
In 2020, more than 3,000 bears were seen in Iwate Prefecture. In 2017, that number was only 700.
The song will be played in public spaces, including shopping malls, until the end of October.
Kaoru Toudou, 61, originally wrote the song as a blues number.
“They say bears are shy creatures, so I think if you heard the song playing outside, it would run away,” Toudou said. “It’s the power of rock’n’roll.”