The Holocaust of the Oceans…

Today was wonderful! No dolphins in the Cove, because of the fishermen’s festival in Taiji…. not to mention the BUCKETS of rain pouring from the sky all day (raining on their parade). It was raining so hard that waterfalls were forming on the hills because water was running down them. Rain falls. Huge and powerful rain falls… that when staring into the raw natural power and force… reminds you of all man’s insignificance.

This morning we all decided that because of the festival and the rain the fishermen wouldn’t go out. So we slept in and worked late this morning. A car went to the Cove at about 9am to double check and to show Junior the lay about. My dad and I were getting ready to meet someone who lives here in Japan and wanted to share some things he researched about the dolphin hunt. No dolphins were in the Cove, John and Jackie called us to let us know! We said good-morning to Steven and off we went to Kushimoto! The man we were meeting with is from Wakayama, and we were very excited to hear what he had to say.

This morning while I was packing to get out the door, I needed a bit of home! So I downloaded and watched the latest GLEE episode! Loved it! Made me cry several times… who else here is a Gleek? 🙂

The meeting! Was very interesting. This man had done SO much research. He and his wife both think that the claim this is cultural is a big fat lie, with multiple layers. Here are some of the things he talked about and we discussed:

1. He told us what he had researched about the Dolphin hunt. He said that the Whaling is tradition, however they dolphin hunt is not. It started in around 1970, when the nicest ones were taken for show and the rest were killed for meat. “Almost no one eats dolphin in Japan, (companies) cheat and call it Whale, small whale”. Most of it is eaten in this city, but some is shipped out to other locations. But the killing of Dolphins is not that old.

2. Taiji kills 2,000 a year, a very small amount compared to the national quota.

3. “It won’t be easy (for the Japanese) people to think differently. Japanese don’t want to eat it (dolphin) but they don’t care (to stand up) and they don’t want to fight the Taiji fishermen. They don’t want any fights, you never say no here”. According to him, people like to go around corners, there really isn’t a word for No. You say it with a reason behind it, you don’t just say no.

3. The Cove is getting major coverage because of the film “The Cove”.

4. Oikomiryo is the name of the technique the fishermen use to drive the dolphin in. I found these two links when I googled it. Slide show page and this frontline article that you really need to read. Very interesting.

5. Most Japanese don’t know and when they find out they don’t care.

6. Media doesn’t have much freedom it is very controlled here in Japan.

7. “They don’t have to eat fish”. He was upset about cheep Sushi bars, “it used to be a special occasion you would eat Sushi, it was savory and very expensive. These cheep Sushi bars are insulting and bother me. Now people bring their kids and eat this fish for like 100 Yen. No one ate tuna before the war, it was not considered a good fish. After the war they started hunting it”. 200 years ago, he said, the Japanese did not eat meat, but would eat little local fish. It was not the main food, mostly vegetables.

After the war they had to find more protein, and America (General Mac Arthur), gave the Japanese old American whaling ships to feed their people. This was the beginning of commercial whaling in Japan. The western world started this!

8. The coast used to be full of Whales, Then they started harpooning them.

9. (The Japanese) don’t really need to eat it, (we) need to find a way to make people see it as barbaric. “The media is doing the opposite”.

10. “This was not part of the Culture, it is just now starting to heat up”.

11. People say “this is our roots, but it’s not. I don’t know why but when it comes to whaling, no one wants to fight (or talk)”.

12.”Nobody wants the meat. When it is not sold they cut the price in half. Every night they do this! Whale meat no body wants”. They are wasting it.

This is where I want to talk about my dad’s theory. I feel like we are fighting a battle much bigger than Whaling.”Antarctica is said to be a resource rich land. Japan has always been a resource starved nation. The Antarctic treaty says that no one can disrupt and take resources from there now. This will come to an end soon… and all of the various countries are going to come together and divide up Antarctica. Japan wants a seat at that table. And they are going to use the fact they have been commercial whaling there as a way to get a piece of Antarctica’s resources. SSCS is not against culture, the government wants part of Antarctica.”-Scott West

— He also said, “How can you call “culture” driving boats to the arctic?! Row boat… that is how it was”. We need the media to say it is not culture.

lunch was lovely! We went back to that homemade restaurant where we had that amazing pizza! We all had pizza, salad and veggie soup! It was raining so hard! And it was so beautiful! We enjoyed that quiet, comfy feeling of being at home sitting in there.

The falls were AMAZING! Rain WaterFalls were forming everywhere! There are so many hills, all the buckets of rain landing at the top were rushing down the small mountains like a rainforest floor, and creating these monster waterfalls! They were so scary! We got out and walked out to this bridge where one was falling about 20 feet away. It was like we stepped into a shower before we were even on the center of the bridge. The bridge was blocked off, for a good reason… it had holes in it! Big enough to fall in! But we were very careful! And there was no sign, so we went to the center and watched this nature made raw power hit the rocks creating a stream and flying back over our heads! Amazing. The air smelled like fresh rain water and lavender. I don’t know why the lavender, it was some sort of herb… but it was pretty! 

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—- Now I realize I am maybe crossing a line and could even offend some people calling this slaughter the Holocaust of the Oceans. But I really feel that way. Innocents minding their own business, being taken out of their homes… held and tortured to death. All done by people who are power hungry, not to mention greedy. Millions of Cetaceans have been slaughtered…. Millions of innocent people were killed. The only difference is that Cetaceans aren’t humans. But there shouldn’t be a difference between the two… we should cherish the creatures on this planet… and instead we wipe them out. It’s a holocaust that will kill us all.

For the Animals,

Elora Malama

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27 thoughts on “The Holocaust of the Oceans…

  1. Hey Elora,
    Good to read your blog, interesting conversation you 2 had!
    Point nr. 3 is what we are experiencing the last 2 weeks as well. Since we left Taiji we have spoken with many people in Japan.
    Locals don’t want to talk about the subject. Maybe they are shocked, but they will not stand up for the dolphins – nor for anything else I guess.
    Disagreeing is not really done here. Also, Japanese people feel personally ‘attacked’ if you say something bad about Japan.

    For me, it is quite clear, the government needs to stop this crazy killing situation.

    1. Today I met an older Japanese man in Osaka, he spoke to us in the metro station – we ended up talking about all possible subjects, including Taiji. He immediately mentioned the movie ‘The Cove’. He has not seen it, as local cinemas would not show it, as he said, out of fear.
      On the other hand, if they would show it, he would not have gone, also out of fear to be associated with the subject.
      The gentleman spoke English very well – was very interested in a large range of subjects and wanted to know what is going on in Taiji. Still he would not have gone…

      I left him the Kansaiscene magazine I just picked up this morning. The below article might interest you all as well:
      http://www.kansaiscene.com/2010_09/html/feature.shtml

      Japan is a great country, maybe Taiji is just waiting for someone to introduce eco-tourism 🙂

  2. Not offended —- The idea of this being a Holocaust is interesting. So many similarities. I remember hearing that the people in Germany living minutes away from a concentration camp denied anything was going on. They didn’t want to know where the smell and “ash” was coming from. The guards also said they were just “doing what they were told”. They needed to earn a living. What else could they do? There are so many similarities here. Nevertheless, as I mentioned before, even during the holocaust there were Japanese who stood up and did what was right in the face of evil. Chiune Sugihara, a famous Japanese man, who risked everything and saved thousands of Jews is now buried on the “Hill of HUMANITY” in Japan. Even the Japanese elite agree he was a hero and a great man, though at the time what he did was so risky. There is so much good and right that happens in Japan that these events come as a stark contrast and is difficult to believe but they ARE happeneing. Imainge if someone in WWII Germany found out what was happening and stood up to the evil? Would the world be different? I believe so. If anyone in Japan is reading this – please get informed and share what you know! Please don’t walk away and ignore what you KNOW is there. The actions of one person can change a generation, in time!!

    God Bless you, Elora!
    God Bless us All!

  3. The Japanese are by far one of the most intelligent races of people on earth. They are the most disciplined and hospitable. Their culture is remarkable and their art is awe-inspiring. They are a people of tradition and family values. That is why I am dumbfounded to know that these atrocities are committed at their hands.

    I was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.A. We had a very rich culture in the deep south that was very much deep-rooted in slavery. Abraham Lincoln is the name that I remember most for being a major contributor to the abolition of our cultural atrocity.

    Our culture changed. We no longer kept our dark brother in physical chains but we kept him at the back of the bus and we had many fine establishments wherein he was not allowed. We enjoyed our precious new society for some time before someone else had the audacity to stand up. The name that comes to mind is Rosa Parks.

    Culture at its worst may endure indefinitely until someone makes a change for what they know is right. While there are undoubtedly thousands involved in such monumental cultural adjustments, there are only a few names that go down in history.

    Elora, be sure to save every tidbit of text that you have written and every photograph you have taken in Taiji. You are writing history. I have no doubt that excerpts from your blog will be appearing in students’ text books of future generations.

    Japan. Whose names shall go down in history for making an epic and bold move in your culture? Will it be your name, Mr. Fu (head of the fisherman’s union)? Will it be your name, Mr. Prime Minister? Or whose name shall it be? Will you be remembered by your children’s children and their children and their children and your entire nation for doing what is right? Or shall you be forgotten simply by abiding the status quo? What will be the historically significant name that the world remembers?

    Worse yet, will your name be remembered for being the opposition?

  4. I really dont like rain cause I hate getting wet lol But thats some awsome weather and if I could I’d bare it with you all to keep those boats docked.

    Yesutrday I commented on your blog and meantioned that you a huge inspiration to my 6 year old daughter, Malory. After reading about you trying to confront the head of the FU and being so courages Malory desided it was time for her to have some courage herself.
    She has refused to watch The Cove. She has had no problem looking at pictures (she looks them up herself every chance she gets on the computer) and she reads as much as she possibly can about what is happening to these dolphins and whales.
    But she refused to listen and hear the dolphins cry. If I am watching a video from Taiji or the Faroe’s or even videos from our own country of Canada of the seals she makes me wear headphones so she can not hear.
    This morning she found her courage and instead of watching her saturday morning cartoons she grabbed the movie ‘The Cove’ and put it on. And she just now finished watching it.
    Shes dealing with all the emotions that come along with the movie at the moment but her biggest emotion right now is anger. When it was over the first thing she said to me was ‘Mommy, we have to tell the Japanese people to stop! Do you know any Japanese people I can call?’. In fact we do, her aunt is Japanese. When I told her this she said ‘But she doesnt kill dolphins?’. And we had a 30 minute conversation about ‘people’. She now understands 100% that its not all Japanese and that a large amount of Japanese had/have NO idea this is even happening.
    I explained to her that terrible things happen in many different countries, and people that live there have NO idea.
    I asked her if she rememeber the pictures I had on my laptop of baby seals, she did, and I told her ‘Those seals, those babies, are from Canada’. The look on her face will haunt me for a very long time. She could not beleive that something so horrible could happen in the place she lives.
    Knowing now was happens in our own country has let her see that it’s the fishermen in Japan that are doing this horrible things, not all of the Japanese people. And that its a select few in our own country that do these horrible things, cause no one she knows would EVER do such horrific things to any animal let alone a baby seal.

    Right now she is counting the money in her piggy banks. And she was to divide it up into ‘two piles of money’. One pile for the dolphins, and one pile for the seals. (typically her piggy bank money goes to our local humane society, and her garage sale money goes to our childrens hospital).
    She is now feeling the need to take action. She was upset cause ‘I cant swim good, I cant go free dolphins!’, and I let her know that thats now what we need to do, what we need to do is raise awareness in our own community and do whatever we can from home to help (like donations, protests, ect).

    Anyways, I am rambling as always, I just wanted to thank you for being such an insirpation to her. You are a great role model for all non-adults and adults. You are showing the children of the world that there is something they can do to help and I am very grateful for it.
    Malory listens to what I have to say in regards to the issues in Taiji and around the world, but it means so much more to her when it comes from someone like you.
    And thank you for helping her find her own courage, maybe now I can keep the headphones off, they bother my ears lol.

    Ohya, she is very disturbed by a fact she read on the movie the cove. She very quickly figured out that if fishers continue the way they are that our oceans will ‘run out’ and die by the time she is 42 years old. And she realizes more now then ever that we need to fight for our oceans harder then ever NOW and not later.

  5. Elora,
    As usual reading your blog this morning as well as the comments left on it has brought me to tears… So glad to hear that more & more people are finally “getting it”. Spreading the word of what is happening there is the only way we are ever going to see an end to the slaughter…
    Take care of yourselves & be safe.
    Colleen in San Diego

  6. Elora! I really think this might be some important information you and the other cove guardians could use. Today, I had the idea of looking for the cove in google maps. Even thought I havent found The Cove yet, I did find plenty of pens as the ones in your pictures. Now, I do not know if they contain small ceteaceans or any other type of living creature, but some were as huge as a boat and others were just as small as the ones in your pictures. The largest pens are near some place which seems to be a “parking spot for boats” while some smaller ones are near this building which has two huge swimming pool. If you want me to get the pictures and send them to you you can contact in my email. Thank you very much Elora, you are an inspiration for all.

    1. Yes, there are huge areas sectioned off and pens, wow…so many pens. If you look near Kiiuraqami there are so many it is amazing. Both north and south of Taiji. Do you have any information on those areas?

      1. I really have no information about these areas, but I truly believe this can be important information. Problably the cove guards have already taken a look, but if not, its necesary to put this crucial evidence in every one of elora’s story. Yesterday I went again and I easily spotted the cove, there was even a picture of dolphins killed (I looked at it for 2 seconds ’cause I feared I would throw up).

  7. great information – I agree with all the previous comments totally. I think it’s interesting what your friend said about American harpoon ships being given to the Japanese. I’ve been studying the history of whaling here in New England – from New Bedford to Mystic it was a gigantic industry that just came to halt finally as it became obsolete.

    I’ve also discovered (you probably knew this already but I’ll say it anyway) that in New Bedford – where (modern ala 1700’s) whaling was born, they now have a new definition for whaling — it’s going out and freeing whales who’ve gotten caught in fishing lines. The New Bedford Whaling Museum is holding talks and workshops on “whaling” comparing and contrasting the experience to the whaling of antiquity and educating people about whales in general. Here is a story about Scott Landry who is one of the lead “whalers” http://bit.ly/ca0h6c ~ and here is one of the organizations http://bit.ly/a6ElDK

    I think there are more Japanese ready to stand up against whaling than you might think – it’s definitely a trend that’s growing as everyday I encounter more and more Japanese online who are disgusted with the practice.

    Good work Elora! Keep the waters of Taiji clear.

  8. It’s a good thing you are trying to talk to Japanese people, but I’m afraid his understanding is mostly baseless and flawed. Here’s my reply to the 13 points. (I’m not trying to argue for or against dolphin hunting, just giving out correct information and trying to show what I see as a common understanding among the Japanese)

    Replies

    1.
    The modern “drive hunting of dolphins” in Taiji is not that old. The method was adopted from Futo’s fishermen in 1960s. However killing and eating of dolphin meat was well documented in Taiji and around Japan. Dolphin bones were found in shell mounds which are 9,000 years old. Since early modern there are many documents which shows coastal towns (including Taiji) were hunting dolphins (see http://record.museum.kyushu-u.ac.jp/kujira/). It is true that companies sold the dolphin meat as whale meat. However calling it “cheating” is misinformed. Dolphins are smaller species of whales, and calling their meat Kujira-niku (whale meat) was acceptable and legal till recently. As the public became more conscious about food source and as the toxicity in some parts of some dolphin species became known since late 1990s, it became necessary to put a strict regulations on the labelling for food. In 2001 JAS (Japan Agricultural Standards) law was renewed and selling dolphin meat as whale meat was illegalised. Governmental agency is monitoring and enforcing the law.

    2.
    Quite true.

    3a.
    Ridiculous theory about Japanese society & people (though it is true some scholars used to argue it years ago). Just look at recent Japanese polls on governmental policies. Every policy is opposed by so many, people are always saying no to any government.

    3b.
    Not quite so. It is also known as a place you can swim with dolphins. Eco-tourism reigns!

    4.
    The following would also interest you. This is a very traditional way of drive fishing. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzppo2_ZUhY

    5.
    No polls show how many people know about the place or the film. However it is very possible many people know about them because the opposition to the showing of the cove was one of the news broadcasted for weeks. It could be true people don’t care, because they do not consider eating dolphins problematic.

    6.
    Media in Japan have as much freedom as in other countries. Otherwise there won’t be much criticism of government every day on TV, and we won’t have to have four Prime Ministers in four years.

    7.
    I tend to agree with his dislike about cheap sushi bars. However it is irrelevant to the consumption of the fish as a whole, which is declining in Japan for years. The story about Tuna is misinformed. Tuna has been eaten since ancient years, which gained wide popularity in Edo era. Akami (red meat) was popular but not Toro (fat meat) before the war. After the war, as Japanese taste changed with western dishes imported and as freezing technology develops, people started to appreciate Toro and pay more money for them. The person you were talking must have confused the story about Toro and Tuna in general. As to the statement that the Japanese did not eat meat 200 years ago, it is a myth which historians are currently working to reveal the truth. (See Hans Martin Kraumlmer, ‘”Not Befitting Our Divine Country”: Eating Meat in Japanese Discourses of Self and Other from the Seventeenth Century to the Present’, Food and Foodways, Volume 16, Issue 1 (January 2008), pp. 33-62.) Regarding the whaling, Japan was sending commercial whaling fleet since 1930s to Antarctica. General MacArthur just reinvigorated and encouraged it to save the disrupted economy after the war. However, it is true that whale meat truly became national diet after the war.

    8.
    The Japanese coast used to be full of Whales, although some coastal towns have been whaling. Then American and Russian fleet came near Japan to hunt whales just for oil produced from whales which greatly reduced the number around Japan (of course then Japan started whaling in a wider scale and was responsible for the reduction of whales afterwards).

    9.
    Not every Japanese need to eat whales or dolphins. But such meat consist vital part of diet for some of the Japanese people. This is not only true in coastal towns of Wakayama, but also in Iwate, Hokkaido, Chiba, Shizuoka, Fukuoka, Okinawa etc.

    10.
    Whaling, or eating whale/dolphin meat, may not be a national culture now, but it certainly is in local areas. Culture is not only one for one nation. There are multiple, layers of cultures. People in different parts of country have different life-styles, ways of living, and cultures.

    11.
    Japanese people, even though they might not have eaten whales, know that there are people who eat them and that whale meat was once easily available in markets. We respect others and their way of life in other regions. That is why Japanese people do not think it right to oppose whaling just because they don’t eat whales. And in fact, most of Japanese aged more than 30 years old have eaten whales.

    12.
    It is true that dolphin consumption is declining. Whether foreigners protest or not, younger generations are not eating the meat as much as they used to. Such change is clearly shown in the decline of dolphin catch every year. It means fishermen are balancing “demand and supply”. However, this trend is quite different for whale meat. The consumption of whale meat is slightly increasing, as more whale meat becomes available. For the recent data see http://david-in-tokyo.blogspot.com/search/label/whale%20meat%20inventory%20statistics

  9. I’ve been enjoying your blog, Elora…terrific writing and you are courageous and wonderful to be there. Kudos!

    I was just in Japan also. I disagree with your Wakayama expert that people in Japan don’t care. Many people in Japan love dolphins. They do care.

    However, confrontation is very bad in Japanese culture and offending others is the height of rudeness. Both are to be avoided at all costs.

    Because of this, many people who love dolphins have distanced themselves from the controversy around the Taiji issue and what are seen as offensive, aggressive or confrontational tactics of The Cove, Sea Shepherd and other pro-cetacean groups.

    This is critical to understand.

    The more confrontation there is, the less support there will be from Japanese people. NOT because Japanese people don’t care about dolphins – but because Japanese people want nothing to do with ANYTHING that smacks even faintly of confrontation.

    Right now, most Japanese people who love dolphins are unwilling to say anything because they do not want to be identified with a movie and with activists who are seen as rude, offensive, aggressive and controversial.

    Your father is right. The Japanese government is only hanging on to whaling because of a need and desire to maintain control of global fishing rights, including Antarctica. Only about 5% of Japanese people eat whale and the idea that it is a Japanese tradition is government propaganda.

    In fact, while coastal whaling has been traditional in villages like Taiji for 100s of years, large scale commercial whaling was essentially forced on the Japanese in the wake of WWII by American General MacArthur who gave Japan their first commercial whaling ships (converted US warships) so that Japan could feed itself in a time of desperation. There is no proud history here – for either side of the Pacific.

    I hope everyone realizes that a cultural communication gap is the biggest stumbling block in reaching a solution here. Japanese and Americans/Australians are simply refusing to understand each other’s points of view. This is creating a situation in which neither can come to the table feeling comfortable and ready to cooperate.

    The solution will come when the humans can learn to understand each other. Hopefully not too many (more) dolphins and whales are sacrificed in the process.

    Good luck…and keep up the good work!

  10. First off: I am a proud Gleek! If only I could stop Finn from singing… 🙂

    Thank you for posting all the links, videos, and detailed accounts. I always feel more informed after I read your entries; keep it up!

    I look forward to meeting you in November!

  11. Great reading, keep up the good work Elora, so pleased to hear no dolphins in the cove…..thank you all.

  12. Hey Elora! I was thinking of you when I watched Glee the other night, because we always talk about it afterward… I was pretty teary myself, but then, you know me! I’m glad you were able to get a little taste of home.

    It sounds as if you are having a really exciting couple of days. It’s too bad you weren’t able to get Mr. FU to allow an interview – that would have been extremely interesting. But, I think seeing his reaction and obvious defensive attitude was a story in and of itself. The sheer amount of followers you have on this blog and on Facebook and Youtube is astounding, and you are reaching a lot of people with your message. As a teacher it is especially heartening to see how other young people are inspired by what you are doing and are using the blog for educational purposes and inspiration. You are a teacher now too!

  13. Thank you for all your explanations you are not only saving dolphins but educating us. Guess what. On Saturday I got to go with Sea Shepherd to Tangalooma for a fund raiser and I got to feed the wild dolphins and I told everyone that you help keep these dolphins wild. hmmmm In a nice way and it was raining too… Thank you for being there and “Hi”to your Dad.

    Whale hugs and Dolphin Kisses
    Bell

  14. The “Holocaust of the Oceans” not only takes place at places like Taiji. Killing these marvelous creatures is barbaric and cruel …but so is eating fish or meat. If you are serious about saving the oceans and marine wildlife you need to see the wider picture and change your eating habbits.
    Someone can start calling himself a conservationist if he/she cuts out all animals products from their diet. If not, you are part of the problem.

      1. Don’t get me wrong here. What they do is great …and important work.
        My comment was directed more towards everyone reading this.
        We can simply save and reduce the suffering of thousands of animals by considering a vegan diet and cut out all animals products.
        The whole production of meat, fish and dairy products consumes thousands of tons of sea life ( fresh water, etc.). So a logical step to take our love and compassion for (all) animals one step further and truly have a significant impact is to choose a plant based diet ( which can be really great ).

  15. Elora,
    It is wonderful that a young person has a wisdom lacking in many who are older.
    Your efforts to stop the killing of dolphins in Taiji Japan are to be commended.
    Different cultures have different ways. Old ways die hard.
    The consumption of meat of any kind in the 21st century is something that human kind should seriously consider changing.
    Whether it is cattle in America or Dolphin killing in Japan one would think that having arrived in the 21st century, mankind would have advanced well beyond the slaughter of earth’s animals for food.
    One can understand people clinging to old ways.
    I think the real hope for all animals on this planet are the young people like you Elora. You have compassion and wisdom and an understanding that all life on earth is interrelated and should be respected. An open heart and an open mind can solve problems and bring about positive change. Your are greatly admired for the efforts you are taking to bring about positive change to spare the lives of the innocent animals of the ocean.
    Only those with closed hearts and closed minds refuse to listen to another point of view.
    My hope is that the people of Taiji Japan move forward and take steps themselves to move away from this dolphin hunting. I always have thought Japan a country of great wisdom and culture. It is sad that these innocents of the sea must give up their lives when just like the cattle in America, it no longer necessary. Our governments need to move into the 21st century.

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