The Honshū Wolf, is known in Japan as the Japanese Wolf or by it's other name the "Mountain Dog". This wolf is one of the two extinct subspecies of the Gray Wolf once common to the islands of Japan. The Honshū Wolf lived on the islands of Honshū, Shikoku, and Kyūshū in Japan. The Hokkaidō Wolf, was native to the island of Hokkaidō. The Honshū Wolf is the smallest known variety of wolf, probably due island dwarfing, and because of this size difference it's classification as a subspecies of the gray wolf is disputed.

The Japanese wolf also played a part in the Japanese folklore and religious traditions. For example, the clan leader Fujiwara no Hidehira was said to have been raised by wolves. This wolf is also often symbolically linked with mountain kami in Shinto.

Although the Japanese wolf was known on the island for hundreds of years , around the turn of the century in the early 1900's, it soon became extinct. The last known specimen died in 1905, in the Nara Prefecture.
Some of the reasons given for the Honshū Wolf's extinction was the change in local perceptions of the animal: rabies-induced aggression and destruction of the wolf's habitat through deforestation which forced them into conflict with the local farmers.

The date of extinction however, is not without some controversy. The date of the last sighting in 1905 has been called into question. There is a new debate currently in Japan that the extinction date may have been incorrect. There was a Japanese wolf that was supposedly killed in 1910 in Fukii. The zoo staff had examined the animal the day after the shooting in 1910 and came to the conclusion that it was indeed a Japanese wolf. Although that is as far as the examination went. And unfortunately, the body was destroyed in a fire, therefore the classification has been determined to be inconclusive.

So is the Japanese Wolf really gone for good? Sightings of the Japanese Wolf have been claimed from the time of its extinction to the present day, although none of these have been verified. A sad realization because anytime we lose an animal to extinction it is huge loss to the our world!

Video : Wolf Howl in Asahiyama (Hokkaido, Japan)

Responses to "The Japanese Wolf - The World's Smallest Wolf Ever"

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thank you very much for posting this:)

  2. Anonymous says:

    I'm only guessing, but I think what these beautiful wolves are saying is basically' GET US OUT OF HERE!!!!' WE DON'T BELONG HERE!!!, LET US GO BACK INTO THE WILD TO RUN FREE AND
    LEAVE US ALONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Morgana says:

    My angels sing.

  4. Anonymous says:

    <3 this video....Wolves are Spiritual....

  5. Anonymous says:


  6. Anonymous says:

    My poor poor kin are begging for salvation and no one can hear their message and understand

  7. Anonymous says:


  8. Shibas1 says:

    Anonymous who says let them go, has no idea these wolfs are so much better off in a life like enclosed area, they are fed and cared for, in the wild they are shot at. have to find food which may not happen. I do not care for zoos of the old but even those saved species like the new ones of today.

  9. Unknown says:


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