At one time, wolves lived in Japan. If you watch Japanese anime, they appear in many anime shows. There were two kinds, the Honshu wolf and the Hokaido wolf. They were smaller than most wolves. However, as far as anyone knows now, they are extinct just like the Korean tiger is extinct. The reasons for the extinction of both are similar. The tiger was, as everyone knows, a man killer. The Korean people ended up considering tiger skins a sign of luxury, and they hunted them for their own survival. During the time of the Japanese occupation of Korea, between the Japanese and the Koreans both hunting the Korean tiger, the Korean tiger became extinct. The Japanese wolves didn’t begin as man killers, but they ended up as man killers, and when they did, within a generation, the Japanese had hunted and killed them all.
In the beginning the wolves were a menace, but not as dangerous as the Korean tigers. Mostly, the Japanese wolves killed horses and other livestock. In the early 1700s, a Japanese lord put out the first bounty on the Japanese wolves. By the mid 1700’s, there were professional wolf bounty hunters.
The reason the Japanese got extremely serious about hunting the wolves down and killing them in the mid 1700’s is because something else happened in the mid 1700’s that gave impetus to the slaughtering of wolves. The wolf population in Japan contracted rabbis. They can’t prove exactly where it came from, but speculation says it came into Japan from Busan, S. Korea. Busan is the closest Japan is to the mainland. A ferry runs between the two countries there today. Much of the sharing of culture through the centuries happened at Busan.
After rabbis came to Japan and infected the wolf population, the wolves became man killers. The wolves were no longer mainly killing horses. When the wolves became man killers, the Japanese became radical about trying to get rid of the rabid wolves. Within a generation, all the wolves in Japan were killed and they became extinct. Occasionally, someone thinks they see a wolf, but usually, when it comes to light, they didn’t see a wolf, but something else. As far as anyone knows, the wolves of Japan are gone.