Taiji, Japan Blogs

Interesting day…

Hi everyone! Today had the potential to be very low key, but ha! What were we thinking? Of course something was going to come up!

We arrived at the Cove around 6:45 am. The fishermen were nowhere in view. We sat there for about a half hour, and no dolphins were being herded into the Cove. The police did not know what the fishermen’s plans were. Below is something I wrote while sitting on a rock….

I’m sitting on a giant rock at the Cove. Behind (about two feet) from me is the blocked off trail to the Cove. It looks like a castle wall. This place is so beautiful and I really can’t even describe it. My pictures don’t even do it justice. The water is so still, and only the wind moving the current is stirring it. No Dolphins were chased into the Cove this morning. We have word that the Dolphin trainers only want to choose Dolphins for aquariums in September, and the rest of the season is up to the fishermen. It’s a real shame, this place. I mean, it would make an incredible dive site, hiking “park”, and if the fishermen really wanted to make money, a boat tour out to watch dolphins in the water.

After we decided that the fishermen probably were not going out today, we left for breakfast. We went to an adorable little bakery and got some egg Danish, doughnuts, and sandwiches.

We then went back to the Cove, ate our food while checking to see if any dolphins were being herded in. None were. So we packed up our things, and went to do some sight seeing. Besides what is going on at the Cove, I want to learn about culture and see Japan. We drove to a temple at Nachi. We hiked so many stairs, and had an amazing view of the land! It was really cool being inside a temple. I have never been in a Japanese temple before!  After viewing that for a while, we came down all the stairs and walked over to the waterfall. It was breathtaking! I didn’t want to leave! The sound is almost hypnotic. I have a video of the sound I’ll post it tonight. It smelled like incense and wet trees. Very relaxing.

Heading back to Taiji, we stopped at a restaurant down the hill of the park. This is where things got interesting. I had left out rental phone in the car, by mistake. It turns out the  police had called up 11 times! I felt terrible! I thought the phone was in my camera case! But the cops that have been following us around got a call, stopped Matt while he was outside, and asked for us. I really thought this is it.   We are being arrested. They have found something to charge us with… but we have done absolutely nothing wrong!

The police said they wanted to ask my dad more about the death threats that were sent to Sea Shepherd. So they had all three of us follow them back to the police station. At first, we all walked up stairs, into an office, and into the interrogation room. This was not a friendly place AT ALL! The room was about the size of a closet. The walls were this dirty white color made that me feel like I was in prison… without being in prison. My dad explained to them that I was not Sea Shepherd, and that I had nothing to do with this. Matt and I were escorted into the hallway OUTSIDE of the office, where the room was, that my dad was in. We sat on this bench in front of a flight of stairs going up and down. On the landing below us, there were about 14 wanted posters of various Japanese men… the window was a frosted glass, so we could not see out. The walls were the same dirty white as that horrible room! I started to bite my nails… I do that when I am really nervous. Its unconscious, but I do it. I think Matt could see I was confused and worried about my dad walking back through that door handcuffed. He started talking to me about “Whale Whores”, which is a South Park episode about Sea Shepherd that we all watched last night. We started laughing so loud and so hard that everyone was looking at us funny. We talked about my school, and how I like to sing and act. It was really great having someone else there with me. I feel like now knowing a little about what to possibly expect, if my dad were arrested just for being who he is… that I could be brave, and do what I had to do to either get home, or find out how long he is being held. Thank you Matt, for that!

About 45 LONG minutes later, my dad was sent on his way. We went back to the hotel, got our swimsuits, and headed straight for the water! It was so hot!

I don’t have any words really, to describe the swim… I have a video I took after it, on my Youtube account. I said everything I needed to say, then and there. I am blabbing, but it’s about what I saw and felt.

When we got back to the hotel, we couldn’t find my passport! We had put it in the glove compartment, but when I went to get it, it was gone! About 20 minutes of searching the car and my room…. I was freaking out! I thought someone had stolen it, and I couldn’t figure out why they would do that! All the police have a copy of it! But after Matt and I went to go look in my backpacks… my dad found it. So, in this car… there is TWO glove compartments….. it’s very strange! On opens on the bottom, one on top of it. It was in the one on top, but that thing looked like an airbag. We must have put it in so fast we didn’t pay attention. Haha, just something funny to lighten the mood!

I love all the support! Thank you so much! You are all so wonderful!

For the Animals,

Elora Malama

44 thoughts on “Interesting day…”

  1. I just found your blog. Haven’t had a chance to read everything yet. But I’m just blown away. You are an inspiration to all. Thank you for what you are doing for the dolphins and for giving us such an inside to what is happening. Best of luck to you. I will keep up with your wonderful work.

  2. Hi!! My name’s Rebecca and I just wanted to say that you are amazing to be at the Cove in this horrible month of September! I’m thrilled to have some way of updates so thank you!! Also thank your dad for me! I love Sea Sheperd and everything they stand for! 🙂

  3. Your blog is the first thing I do when I wake in the morning. Even before our local news.. What’s going on with Taiji and what you and your dad and Matt are doing to help the dolphins is my first though when I open my eyes.. You are so very brave And If I could I would be there with you guys helping … Please keep us here at home updated and please stay safe .. I will be praying for you and the dolphins every night! BTW .. I love your YouTube movies keep them coming! Great job!

  4. Sea Shepherd Rocks!
    If i could be with you in Taiji, i would. (It´s a lil financial problem for me^^ The flight, the hotel – at the moment that´s too expensive for me…)
    But in my mind i´m with you there. 🙂

  5. Hi Elora,

    I´m really sorry for what happened to you guys, however, today was really a good day and no dolphin died! I just wanted to say again: THANKS A LOT for what you guys are doing! I spent this morning writting emails to all my friends telling them about the Cove, I wrote an email to President Obama, british Prime Minister David Cameron, german chancellor Angela Merkel and will be sending soon a letter to Her Majesty the Queen (it´s known that she loves animals) – I just wanna do something about it, nothing I can do is a little closer of what you guys are doing, but I got to try.

    Please, you guys around the world, write letters, emails or fax politicians of your countries as well… let´s show them that the world is watching and that they have to do something against it!

    Thanks again and I am praying for you!

  6. Hi I came by your blog today and wow its amazing.. thank you for sharing your experience with us not so fortunate enough to be there right now to help. I feeel so helpless but I did call the Japaneese embassy in London yesterday to plee witht hem NOT to slaughter those dolphins.. The lady wanted to argu the case sayign she would rather be a dolphin and be free most of its life and die eventually for food than be a chiken in acage all its life then killed for food:( either way it doesnt make this right does it?.. it must have ben very scary for you at the police station and Im so glad you had Mat there he seems like a real good guy, I only wished there was something more I could do:(

  7. Ohhhh Elora,

    I got an important question!!! What if a day for protests moviments in front of japanese Embassies around the world was organised? I mean, probably houndreds of thousands of people read your blog, that cannot be so difficult to set it up… maybe if you could write a post where people would write their names, countries and emails – and people from same country could get in touch and set a day up for a peaceful protest?? That was just an idea… you got my email, if you think it´s a good idea please get in touch!

    Take care

  8. Proud of you….
    I want to say first you are an inspiration to us all. I was happy to see that you are writing about what is going on there. I find myself always thinking about what’s happening in Taiji I can’t get enough information about the status of the Dolphins. I so want to be there. PLEASE stay in good spirits and know we are thinking of you and wish you the best. So so proud of you…..

  9. Hi Elora, I just want to say hello and thank you for being our eyes and ears in Taiji. This blog is really impressive and all the details, photos & video you provide is really helping those of us who are not able to be there (yet) get a better idea of what is going on. You’re doing an excellent job and are quite inspiring. Keep it up!
    Looking forward to your next post…

  10. Just want to say what you and your father are doing is amazing and inspirational. Word of this barbaric ritual is spreading fast now thanks in large part to your blog.
    You are truly a beautiful soul.


  11. Elora, we are so proud of you here at the Terry house. You are so brave and full of love, passion and inspiration. To be there and experience that first hand….overwhelming and inspiring. You, your Dad and your group are in our prayers. With all our love, support and Thanks, Lisa, Peter, Taylor and Noah

  12. Great blog! I love this blog! I come here for the latest info. For Taiji updates, this is better than following Ric O’Barry’s twitter or checking the Sea Shepherd website.

    You probably shouldn’t reveal where you guys put your passports. You can’t trust these folks.

    Keep up the wonderful work! Best wishes!

  13. Elora!
    We are all sending love and support your way from the states! Thank you for all the amazing work you, your father, and Matt are doing. You are an inspiration to the world and a very bright light in an otherwise very dark cove.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you!
    Paul & Wendy Emerson
    California, USA

  14. Just got blown away by ‘the cove’.. and wanted to learn and how I could do more.
    Thanks for the blog – truly an inspiration.

  15. Your dad has been one to put into action what he preaches. I’m glad to see you follow in his footsteps. I was horrified to read what you and he went through with the police. I hope you will find the beauty that is Japanese culture as well as this sad reality of the dolphins. I know your presence makes a difference! Thank you for sharing your experience. I send you both my love, prayers, respect and support from San Francisco.

  16. On behalf of our future children, my husband and I than you. You are Hope personified. It is going to take young people like you to save our oceans, our planet, humanity as a whole. Every single person can do one thing that will make a difference and you are proof. The world is a better, more compassionate and more hopeful place because YOU are alive and taking action. Bless you and your father. He has obviously done something right as a parent as evidenced by your willingness to put yourself in service to the vulnerable and voiceless. Thank you for your selflessness.

  17. Elora,
    What can I possibly say except, “you go, girl”! We are so, so proud of the amazing work you are doing, and the awareness you are bringing to this tragic but very real situation. Stay strong, and know we’re thinking about you! When it gets tough–remember how important your work is. Having the chance to open the eyes of one human at a time is having the chance to impact an entire world! Julie Lohr

  18. i just wanted to thank you for being there, i wish i could be there but i dont have enough money so im trying to educate as many people as i can here. I just had my nephew watch the cove and now he has it all over his facebook page talking about it and telling people to text dolphin to 44144. I sit here crying thinking about all the beautiful dolphins that lost their lives there and i cant get that picture out of my head……… thats why i really want you to know how thankful i am that you guys are there. I was educated when i watched that movie as i had always wanted to “swim with the dolphins” i no longer want to do that ever, i want to protect them. Stay strong we are all thinking about you and from the bottom of my heart thank you!

    1. Hi Debbie,
      Thank you so much! I am so happy to hear that your nephew is reaching out to his friends. Its great us kids working so hard to show the world that no matter how old we are, we can still make a difference. Whether that is flying to Taiji with our dad, or educating all of your friends. Everything does something. And every something is important. Thanks for the support.

  19. Elora, you had a tough day yesterday! Sorry for you and your father, you must be tired, but I became happier to know no dolphins were killed until now. A Japanese can do nothing only alone, they used to act in group, and besides they are not used to foreign language and people, especially, being yelled in English. They are confused and scared of you, two, in fact, I suppose. Your presence bring them nervous and anxiety. Is it true they may start slaughter in October? I do hope your safety and we could meet soon.

    1. Well thank you! I am very tired! it feels like midnight to me. Whatever the reason is they are following me, they are looking out and keeping me safe. I very much appreciate that. The police here are very nice, professional and are looking out for me. I believe that the kill part of the hunting season does resume in October, but I am not completely certain. Thank you so much! And I’d love to meet you, if you are in Taiji soon.

  20. Elora,

    While following the Sea Shepherd reports about Taiji, including the ones posted by your dad, I discovered your blog and started reading it from the very beginning. All I can say is “wow”! I very deeply appreciate your being quite candid about everything, and your description of what the dolphins had to endure brought tears to my eyes. I will keep up with your blog on a daily basis like I have with the Sea Shepherd reports. I really do thank you so much for taking the time to share with us everything about the Cove, especially from your eyes and ears!

    I found out about Japan’s dolphin drive hunts when I received an e-mail asking me to sign a petition against such hunts. Included in the petition were two graphic photos of the dolphin slaughter. Since I was at a public library when I saw the photos, I had to keep myself from breaking down (otherwise I would’ve bothered other patrons). But I did lose it after I left the library. That was back in early 2006. Since then, I’ve been speaking up fervently against such killings by spreading the word through my write-ups in various sites. (I will definitely give you the links.) What you’re doing right now – being at The Cove – is something that I’ve always wanted to do. I really would like to be there for the dolphins – to watch out for them to make sure they’re safe and to ensure that they’re not being killed. Elora, you are so brave, and so are your dad and Matt. Even though I can speak and lipread well, I am profoundly deaf, and I am really concerned about communication, as well as potential misunderstandings that would get me in trouble. But I will not rule out the possibility of being there sometime in the near future/future. In the meantime, I will keep up with your blog, as well as the Sea Shepherd reports, every single day. You take care and be safe. We will always be there with you guys – and ALL the dolphins – every single step of the way!!


    1. HI Laurice,
      I must start by saying that, I cannot imagine what it is like to be deaf. But, I can say that the people here are very nice. I feel like the police and the locals here would help to communicate to the best of their ability. You might want to come with a friend, so you two can work together. I believe the famous saying is “deaf people can do anything but hear”… and I believe that! I’m not going to say it won’t be challenging, that is why I advised maybe bringing a friend. But if this is something you are passionate about, and you want to do it, don’t let that stop you. But you really need to do what makes you feel comfortable. If you know that most of the Japanese people would have a hard time understanding your language and that is why you feel you need to put your money towards a different SSCS or any other organizations campaign, that is okay. Thank you for your support!

  21. Keep up the GOOD work! We are leaving the states for Taiji tomorrow and have been in contact with your dad. We look forward to meeting you all and fighting the good fight!

    Dwight and Sandra Miller

    1. That is great! I cannot wait to meet you too! The more people the better for getting the word out. Also, there is much safety in numbers!

      I hope more people come and join us. I have to say, that if life has given everyone the time and the money to come, please do! You can do this!

  22. Hi Elora!
    I just found your blog and want to say “thank you” for your great work!

    “… and the time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look upon the murder of men.” Leonardo Da Vinci

  23. Elora,

    You are amazing. Simply put. I like what someone said above, you are Hope personified. So very true.

    Thank you so much for your blog, for what you and your father and Matt are doing, as well as the people there from EII. Bless you all and may God and the heavens keep you and the dolphins safe.

  24. This blog is about animal rights; the rights of dolphins, I suppose? In that respect, I am confused about the mention of you buying an egg danish. Most people interested and active in animal rights don’t eat animal products because they cause animal suffering and death.

    1. I think Elora’s obvious commitment to animal rights clearly shows her dedication to the cause, and it would probably be more gracious to not chide her for eating an egg danish and instead honor her for being so incredibly generous of her time and her heart given to this very important matter.

    2. I totally agree with Paul.

      Elora, you do very good work in Taiji – don´t let put you down through comments like Ashley´s!
      Go on like you did the last days!
      Youre wonderful!

    3. I would just like to add that the town of Taiji is very small. I know how difficult it has been for them to find food that is not fish or meat of some kind. The language barrier makes it very hard too at times. No meat does not mean yes fish. My daughter is currently a vegetarian and I have no interest in debating the vegan vs. vegetarian or other choices people make in what they eat. They are doing the best they can to find food that accommodates their beliefs and yet.. reallly it also boils down to they gotta eat…. peace

      1. I just find it hard to believe. It’s not a difficult step in the U.S., at least. In a foreign country and a small town, maybe. I’ve found that Asian food is very accommodating to veganism, with chop suey, etc. but I haven’t had anything authentic, i.e. from Asia.

        However, that is not to say I don’t appreciate her dedication to saving dolphins. That’s something really great. While I don’t have the resources to move to Taiji, but I am holding a bakesale in the interest of farmed animals in the US on Oct 2nd. I know what it is to work hard for a cause. I am not critical of her action of helping dolphins, merely curious about why one would save one and exploit another.

        It’s not rude or impolite to openly wonder how such a schizoid view could exist regarding which animals are “allowed” to be exploited. It’s philosophical and warranted.
        I wouldn’t bother asking someone who I didn’t believe had half a brain to produce an answer, which is most of the United States.

        And the difference between vegetarian and vegan is not difficult to end a debate over. One exploits animals, the other makes an attempt not to. Whatever situation or justification there is, that’s what it boils down to.

  25. Hi Elora,
    Your blog is the 1st thing I check every morning. As I’ve said before, you are an inspiration to us all. Please know that you are in our thoughts & prayers EACH & EVERY DAY! So glad to hear that reinforcements are on their way to you! Please be safe & keep up the fight.
    Colleen Hodges (San Diego)

  26. well ashley, how lovely for you to be so perfect. from your sanctimonious tone, we must assume you left the womb that way and didnt have to work your way to nirvana like the rest of us mortals. what is it like living in your own vacuum? i have been struggling to work and live wtih integrity as a vegetarian in a carnivore’s world for 34 years, and if you have found it to be so simple, perhaps youare one of those one dimensional characters that continually set the movement back. in the mean time give elora the credit and support she deserves for doing something you evidently cannot, and keep your mean cheap shots to yourself.

    1. You go Jeannie!!!

      Ashley, I believe you think you are informed in life, but really need to step back re-evaluate and try again. Could you reall go to a place where no one talks your language, you can not read a thing, unless it have a picture on it (very little does) and live completely to your grandiose idea that you could not consume any animal by product 100%. I highly doubt it. You do not have the right to sit in your safe, cozy house and dis someone who has taken great risks just to enter the area of Taiji as a westerner. I really think you should apologize for your rude behavior to this amazing young lady.

      Elora, your true friends, family and followers are so proud of you and your effort for eating while there.

  27. Elora, thank you for your passion and drive to be there for all of us. I believe you are making a huge difference. I hope you can stay there as long as possible and that others will be able to follow and also share with us what is happening in the Cove. The movie is inspiring, and the fact that you’ve done something to follow-up with it is even more inspiring. Keep up the courage and know that more and more people are reading your blog every day.

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