Can iNaturalist Japan be created?

Hi! I am a Japanese (although currently living in New Zealand) and I have been hoping to have a Japanese version of iNaturalist just like iNaturalistNZ.

I have temporarily made a project to gather as many Japanese (language) users as possible- which has 58 members right now.
アイナチュラリスト日本語コミュニティ · iNaturalist(url)

I think it would be quite cool to have a Japanese division of iNaturalist since Japan has incredible numbers of nature enthusiasts (especially Entomologists) and I would like to know what is needed for it to happen.


I would probably move this to Feature Requests. @tiwane What is the policy for creating new INaturalist country subsections?
I would probably reach out to as well.


iNaturalist Network nodes are partnerships between iNaturalist and at least one institution in that node’s country. You can read more about the network here and see the network application here. As far as I know, no institution in Japan has sent us an application to become a network member.

iNat is not used too much in Japan. That’s probably due to many reasons but one big reason is likely that neither the website or mobile apps are well translated into Japanese - both having been sitting at 49% translated for a long time now. IMO the first thing to do would be to get the those translated into Japanese - it made quite a difference in Thailand (as well as some groups doing excellent outreach there), and get it to the attention of nature-related institutions in Japan. But there really needs to be a core group of people the institution who know and will do the hard outreach work necessary for a node to be successful.


I agree that translation is important for the acceptance of the website. It will depend of the country, but for some countries the availablity of common names is even more important for succes. I guess that for some countries iNaturlist is most popular outside their own country…

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Hi glycymeris

Its great to have you with us on the forums. I have a huge love for Japanese fauna and flora, just from the little I’ve read of it so far, and would love to visit Japan someday

If botany is one of your fields of interest or expertise, maybe you can contribute to this question of mine on the forums which still remains unanswered? No stress though :)

I fully support Japan getting its own subdivision in, as this relatively small island is home to some of the world’s most unique animals and plants, all of which serve their functions in beautiful environments worthy of world heritage status


I think the post was wrongly titled: the user wishes to have iNaturalist available in the Japanese- language- not isolating by country. Segregating countries is a bad idea, losing what iNaturalist is all about, integrating regions and governmental divisions into natural locations.
As s/he said, they’ve started a group for this-- getting help from iNaturalist moderators regarding translation apps and experts who can guide scientific accuracy is the road to follow.

The post is correctly titled and I am hoping for (or something like that, for example iNaturalistNZ or ArgentiNat-) to be created, not just a Japanese language version.
Also, even if we successfully created iNaturalistJapan, it will NOT be separated from the whole iNaturalist network.

@tiwane @optilete Thanks for the details about this and for the advices about the translation process. I am fluent in Japanese and decent in English so I should be able to take part in the translation work - I will talk to other Japanese-English translators on iNat about it.

I have many friends working on nature-related topics in universities and museums in Japan and I’ll be discussing with them if they are interested in this!


As long as we’re discussing Japan, have you seen this plant? Looking for East Asian botanists for Achlys japonica

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