Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Shishi odoshi - deer scare

Shishi-odoshi is a deer scare (literal translation is deer scarer). It was originally developed by farmers to scare off deer and boar to keep them from eating their crops. There are several types of things used to scare away away animals. Many can be scene in anime/manga though some are more often heard.

Deer chasers were later used in japanese gardens as their movement provided an element of change. As the water flows from the bamboo fountain, the knocking portion fills and spills the water creating a rhythmic knocking sound as it hits a rock.

There are kakashi (scarecrow - new robotic type look like giant eyeballs), naruko (clappers - wooden clappers that were banged together by pulling a string or by the wind) and sōzu (the water fountain pictured above).

Sōzu are often found in Japanese gardens. The sound they make is soothing to some people and reminds people of the passage of time. They usually are made of bamboo. Contains one or more upright bamboo poles with a hollow pivoting arm attached into which water pours from a tube or pipe above it. When the arm gets full, the weight of the water causes it to tip over and empty, making a sharp sound when it hits a hard surface below it. This noise is intended to startle any deer which may be grazing on the plants in the garden. The empty arm is then free to swing back up into position and refill.

This site tells how to make one:

I think these are kind of neat and could use a deer scare of some type. Deer have come to the garden in the backyard and eaten the tops of plants like the peppers. It's kind of annoying. Placing unappealing plants like marigolds and vinca do not stop them from coming and eating the plants.

The Tendo's in the Ranma anime have a deer scare in their garden. They are also seen in the manga (above picture was taken from the Ranma manga) but I do not remember seeing one in the Tendo's yard in the manga.

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