More Japan Travel Articles — More Travel Articles
by Bob Kerstetter
Formerly the snowy owl belonging to Harry Potter, Hedwig today remains alive, well and happy in a Japanese zoo near Tokyo. While some thought she died saving Potter from a death curse, she actually faked her demise with help from Professor Severus Snape.
Hedwig poses for a rare photo in Japan.
After sideswiping a death eater intent on killing Potter, Professor Snape hit Hedwig with a green onion charm—ねぎ. That is correct, the charm uses the Japanese word negi meaning green onion or spring onion. An invention of Professor Snape, ねぎ requires a flip of the wand perfectly tracing the shape of an onion bulb. The charm gains its greatest effect when the performer pronounces ねぎ with an affected British accent.
The ねぎ charm looks, but does not smell, like the infamous death curse. The intensity of the onion scent forces the victim to collapse as if dead, but otherwise causes no lasting injury. While it took three months to remove the odor from her feathers, Hedwig thinks of the ploy as a total success because she escaped from the magical world, married a Japanese Ural Owl ふくろう, lives in a zoo with her husband and enjoys visits from their six children, 36 grandchildren and 216 great grandchildren.
Hedwig married a shy—all Japanese are shy—Ural Owl ふくろう. He comes from those parts of Japanese marked in red.
Hedwig says a human woman daily cleans the cage she shares with her husband. The owl keeper also hunts and prepares food for the family. Once a week, she tells them folk tales about Japanese owls. Although the woman allows Hedwig to fly free anytime she wishes after closing time at the zoo, Hedwig retired from the magical postal service and never visits Great Britain.
I promised Hedwig to not publish the story widely until August 31, 2013. Because she said releasing the story on August 27 would be okay here it is. Hedwig told me this story and posed for the photo on April 29, 2013 at her home in the Tama Zoological Park, Hino City, Tokyo Metropolis, Japan.
Hedwig comes from places further north than Japan.
Tama Zoological Park, 多摩動物公園
Hino City, 日野市
Tokyo Metropolis, 東京都, 東京県
Kantō Region, 関東地方
Ural Owl, ふくろう