E. China, Jap., Kor., Taiwan, Sakhalin
"The small fragrant flowers attract bees. Members of the genus Ilex support the following specialized bee: Colletes banksi." 
Ilex crenata is part of the landscape in rural Japan, where local inhabitants, farmers, and conservationists are in dialog about how to manage agriculture while sustaining the biodiversity of the region. 
Used as an ornamental plant. 
 Kiani, S., & Perler, R. (2017, April 23). Yale Nature Walk: Catalpa. Retrieved from https://naturewalk.yale.edu/trees/bignoniaceae/catalpa-bignonioides/catalpa-74
 Iiyama, N., Kamada, M., & Nakagoshi, N. (2005). Ecological and social evaluation of landscape in a rural area with terraced paddies in southwestern Japan. Landscape and Urban Planning, 70(3-4), 301-313.