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The Japanese wolf (Japanese: ニホンオオカミ(日本狼 ー, Hepburn: Nihon ōkami) (Canis lupus hodophilax) is an extinct subspecies of the gray wolf that was once endemic to the islands of Honshū, Shikoku, and Kyūshū in the Japanese archipelago. It is also known as the Honshū wolf. Its binomial name derives from the Greek Hodos (path) and phylax (guardian), in reference to Japanese folklore, which portrayed wolves as the protectors of travellers. It was one of two subspecies that were once found in the Japanese archipelago, the other being the Hokkaido wolf.