More Japan

Truth About Hedwig - We Promised Not to Tell Until Now

Formerly the snowy owl belonging to Harry Potter, Hedwig today remains alive, well and happy in a Japanese zoo near Tokyo.

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 in Tama Zoo in Hino City

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.

Husband of Hedwig in Japan

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.

Snowy Owls from Northern Earth

Hedwig comes from places further north than Japan.

Japanese Words

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
Japan, 日本
Ural Owl, ふくろう

Love Us On Facebook!

Japan Official Tourist Info

Check back. The lists change often.

Japan National Tourist Info

Japan Regional Tourist Info

Some regions use JNTO for official tourism information. One uses the regional international airport.

Japan City Tourist Info


Advertising supports our research and writing projects.

free trial
click link below

Unlimited Reading.
Unlimited Listening.
Almost Any Device.

Automate Your Life
a little

Echo Above

Dot Below

Watch with Show

Keep it Clean

This is a standalone automated vacuum cleaner. It does not work with Echo and friends.