Japanese Macaque

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Japanese Macaque

Japanese MacaqueOriginal.png

Character Data
AKA Snow Monkey
Romaji Nihonzaru
Debut Kemono Friends Pavilion
Animal Data
Scientific Name Macaca fuscata
Distribution Most of Japan, absent only from Hokkaido
Diet Omnivore
Avg. Lifespan 22-27
Read More Japanese macaque
Conservation Status iucn3.1 LC.svg.png
Japanese Macaque Pavilion KF3 Gallery

The Japanese Macaque is a type of mammal Friend who was revealed for a collaboration with Natsukatsuzaki Monkey Beach in 2020, and first appeared in Kemono Friends Pavilion.


Japanese Macaque has short, neck-length hair of two colours: her bangs are coral pink, and the rest of her hair is an off-white. Her side bangs are fairly short, and curl inwards to frame the Friend's face. Atop her head can be found a small cowlick, and to the high sides of her head are two tufted monkey ears; likewise, she has a short, fluffy tail in the back. Her eyes are gold.

Japanese Macaque sports a light-grey and white hooded parka, the hood of which is worn up; as is true for the majority of Friends who wear clothing over their heads, her ears are visible "clipping" through her hood, as is her cowlick. The face of the hood is lined with grey fur forming a loose heart shape. The hood's drawstrings are white, with a red bead at the end of each. The parka's sleeves are of a two-toned raglan style, being light-grey while the body of the parka is white. She wears the sleeves slightly rolled up, revealing a pair of white fingerless gloves. Both the sleeve hems and bottom hem of the parka have a blocky, light grey cuff. The parka body also has pouch-style pockets in the front. Japanese Macaque sports fluffy grey shorts, the hems of which are just visible under the parka, and accompanies them with white and light-grey striped leggings which end at the mid-calf. On her feet, she wears very simple light-grey shearling boots with black outsoles.

Series Appearances

Appearances In Kemono Friends Media
Media Role

In Real Life

Japanese macaques at Jigokudani Hotspring in Nagano have become notable for their winter visits to the spa. Photo by Yblieb, 2013

The Japanese macaque, also commonly known as the snow monkey, is a medium-sized Old World monkey species native to Japan. It is the country's only wild monkey species, and can be found across the nation, save for its northernmost region- Hokkaido- from which it is absent. The thick fur of the Japanese macaque varies in colour from browns to greys, while their faces are iconic for their pink hue; in adults, the face colour can range from a soft pink to a vibrant red-pink or coral. Males average 57 cm (22.4 in) in height and 11.3 kg (25 lb) in weight; females are slightly smaller, with height and weight averages of 52.3 cm (20.6 in) and 8.4 kg (19 lb) respectively.

Japanese macaques are a truly unique species, even among the macaques. One of their most defining traits is their ability to withstand cold temperatures; they are the only known non-human primate to live as far north or in as cold of climates as they do, and temperatures as low as -20°C (−4 °F) present little trouble for these monkeys. The cold-clime adaptations of the Japanese macaque include their thick coats of fur, which become even denser as temperatures drop; their short fluffy tails, which are less prone to ailments such as frostbite than the long, thin tails of many other monkeys would be; and their habit of huddling together for warmth in the coldest parts of the year, sleeping together as a group in the winter to conserve body heat. Japanese macaques are even observed to bathe in hot springs to warm themselves up- quite commonly, in fact- which is a behaviour considered unusual for such primates. This is perhaps their most iconic trait, and the mental image of a Japanese macaque enjoying the steamy waters of a hot spring is a globally recognizable one. They are also remarkably long-lived compared to other macaques, with females being known to live for up to 32 years.

Another noteworthy trait of the Japanese macaque is its remarkable intelligence. They are known to develop different regional accents much in the same way humans do, to create and roll snowballs for amusement, and even to use freshwater and saltwater to clean and season food, as per a famous experiment conducted by Japanese researchers at the country's Koshima Island. The scientists left sweet potatoes out on a beach where the macaques were known to frequent, and while some attempted to brush the sand from the food with their hands, one macaque used a nearby river's water to rinse the sand grains off before dipping the now-clean yam into the nearby ocean water to reap the benefits of the salt. This behaviour was eventually copied and adopted by her fellow macaques, and from there was passed down the generations; this ability to learn from one another and pass new knowledge down the generational tree is another significant demonstration of the Japanese macaque's intellect.


  • Japanese macaques are skilled at navigating most any terrain; they can run, leap, climb trees and buildings, and swim all quite adeptly.
  • The proverb of "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" has its origins in Japan, and the monkeys often used to portray the proverb were originally Japanese macaques.
  • Japanese macaques are not picky eaters, and their omnivorous diets include fruit, herbs, insects and other invertebrates, fish, leaves, tree bark, fungi, seeds, nuts, roots, and even soil. Over 213 plant species are found on the Japanese macaque's menu, and what populations eat can vary by the region they inhabit and the active season.
  • The Japanese macaque is often used in Japan to represent the monkey of the Chinese zodiac.
  • Due to what is perceived as a promiscuous nature, Japanese macaques are often used in expressions comparably to how rabbits are in the West, in statements representing libido and open displays of affection. Where one with an open libido may be said to "breed like a rabbit" in a Western country, so might one be called a monkey in Japan.


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