2018 Photo Contest, Nature, Stories, 2nd prize

Sacred No More

Photographer

Jasper Doest

06 August, 2017

Three Polish tourists are entertained by macaques at the Utsunomiya Kayabukia Tavern, north of Tokyo, in a back room where visitors pay owner Kaoru Otsuka to cuddle the monkeys and take selfies.

In recent years, the Japanese macaque, best known as the snow monkey, has become habituated to humans. As the range of the macaque habitat expands from mountain areas to subalpine and lowland regions, the animals have lost their fear, have taken to raiding crops, and are often seen as pests. Despite macaques being officially protected in Japan since 1947, some local laws allow them to be tamed and trained for the entertainment industry. Once considered sacred mediators between gods and humans, monkeys in Japan also came to be seen as representing dislikable humans, deserving of ridicule. Commercial entertainment involving monkeys has existed in Japan for over 1,000 years.

About

Jasper Doest

Jasper Doest is a Dutch photographer who works at the intersection between man and the nature while creating visual stories that provide an insight in the non-human lives we shar...

Technical information

Shutter Speed
1/125
Focal length
24.0 mm
F-Stop
4.0
ISO
8000

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