Today everyone went at 6:30 just to double check on the boats. We didn’t think that they would go out, but you never know. These hunters are greedy little sneakers. I stayed behind, because I could barley stand up this morning, all the stress and early mornings finally caught up with me this morning and I needed to sleep. I’m glad I did, we think tomorrow will be another hunting day.
We all left the hotel at ten to go to the Taiji Whaling Festival. I wanted to check it out for my project, and everyone else was curious as well.
There we were, 15 earth friendly pirates walking in a line down the streets of Taiji. First we stopped at the local store that sells the fresh dolphin meat… they told us we could not take pictures. The lady at the desk was really rude. I wanted to buy an apple because I hadn’t had breakfast yet, and I was trying to be friendly. I mean we did take pictures in their store, the least I could do was buy a piece of fruit. She turned sideways of me and looked out the window… I then sat the apple down on the counter, she looked at me for a few seconds, then obviously under protest turned her body towards me and rang it up. I smiled and she nodded, but she didn’t return the smile. We really are not welcome in this town. If only they understood, that we are not only here because Japan (and other countries, Japan is just the main contributor) are driving cetaceans into extinction, it is because we want to help the people of Taiji and Japan. They are poisoning themselves and either don’t care, or do not want to know.
As we walked into the festival, not only did we have a police escort with the light going on the car, but there was a helicopter circling overhead and police running around following us with cameras. When we walked in through the gate, all the media immediately picked us up and followed us all over the festival. It was nuts.
First we watch a masked dance, of what we think was a Whale being slaughtered. Then we saw a younger girl doing a traditional dance, with lots of colorful clothing. The dancing was strictly directed and you could tell that every little move meant something. It was really neat to watch.
We circled the very small fair, and saw the dolphin slayers sitting in front of their hunting boats, that they had decorated and brought closer to the harbor. They all looked down as we passed by.
We were very friendly and Rupert, Rex and a few others ran into some kids that were very open to talking and kept making the peace sign, smiling. I don’t think we are hated by all of Taiji, most of it I feel is a façade.
We walked into the food area to get some corn, and we smelled something terrible! I thought that it was cleaning product on a hot grill…. Then someone piped up and said that they were cooking Whale Meat. It smelled like burning chemicals. It was really really vile and nasty.
But overall we enjoyed seeing a little bit of the Whaling culture. However, we wish that they were celebrating something that is in the past. And no, the dolphin slaughter, is not cultural whatsoever, I won’t preach to the choir, haha!
Today was low key, just lots of video editing, and napping!
Here is a link to my new video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_qgKuYsI9g
For the animals,
Elora Malama W.