Urban Deer of Nara, Japan

Sika deer are not confined to forests or parks in Nara, Japan, but they walk around on the streets like people, while they are touring open shops, even having barriers at the entrance.

In Nara the deer are considered sacred and protected by law. The photographer Yoko Ishii based on Kanagawa, the ongoing series of images entitled «Beyond the Border», explores how animals are outside the basic rules are made for the city’s population.

A Photo Series by Yoko Ishii Documents the Free-Ranging Urban Deer of Nara, Japan, The city with the holy deer, Urban Deers of Nara, Japan

The photographer shows these natural shots and immortalized the free deer in their everyday moments in the city. He chose to photograph them without being close to people, giving the impression that there are only those.

Ishii wanted to photograph the ways in which animals interact with the city’s shared infrastructure after watching a pair of deer, in 2011 he stopped on traffic light and where he shoot a pure nurse image of mother nature.

In fact, a photo album titled Dear Deer was released in 2015.


According to local folklore, these animals are considered holy in this city, due to the visit of the ancient god Takemikazuchi, on a white deer.

The killing of one of these sacred deer was a serious offense, which was punished by death until 1637. After the Second World War, the deer were officially discharged from their sacred-divine regime and designated as national treasures.

Today his population in Nara is over 1,800.


Source: Thisiscolossal


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