Use the rikaichan popup dictionary or your favorite reference tool with my transcription below the photo if you need help reading this sign. Click on the photo to enlarge it and see the characters more clearly.
Nutria are native to South America and were introduced to Japan. We took these photos along Kyoto’s Kamogawa(鴨川) River recently.
It seems as though Kyoto City has stepped up its campaign to eradicate them, and this sign is part of that effort. It asks people not to feed them and details the harm that they do to native species of plants and animals and warns of the risk of getting bitten, and is written in a way that children as well can understand and take to heart.
I’m not sure about how long they’ve been here or how they were introduced-a lady we met by the river who was watching a nutria told us that the Japanese military had them brought to Japan and used their fur to make collars for uniforms during wartime, releasing them when they were no longer needed. But I don’t know for sure if that’s actually what happened.
I’d be curious to know of any other explanations that you’ve come across! In any event it looks like the city is having some success with their program, so if you want to see a nutria in Kyoto, better get out there! I seem to most often see them, usually just one or sometimes two, just north of the Imadegawa Bridge on the west side of the river. That’s where this sign is.
The numbers below refer to the kanji I’ve transcribed below the photo, and correspond to their order of appearance in both Heisig’s Remembering the Kanji and Kanji in Context.
To learn more about how this information can help you learn kanji, please read this.
Heisig(H502, H54, H1555, H1050, H1472, H1613, H107, H95, H1796, H1560, H2835, H127, H1184, H1555, H1050, H366, H166, H1596, H734, H1472, H951, H924, H614, H659, H1682, H1885, H107, H1745)
Kanji In Context(KIC429, KIC719, KIC49, KIC321, KIC131, KIC41, KIC87, KIC69, KIC418, KIC574, KIC N/A, KIC101, KIC428, KIC49, KIC321, KIC430, KIC872, KIC404, KIC774, KIC131, KIC15, KIC1070, KIC431, KIC775, KIC229, KIC246, KIC87, KIC222)