Taiji, Japan Blogs

I’m Back! Taiji 2012: Day 2

Sorry about last night’s attempt at a blog! The jet lag really hit me yesterday!

Tuesday, day 2, was very eventful. We stayed the entire day in Osaka for meetings and catching up with some old friends.

The first thing we did when we woke up was get breakfast at our first hotel. It was actually really good! The buffet was adorable, they had some English translations for things, but for the stuff they could not translate they put little laminated cut outs of the different types of animals in each dish, so you knew what you were eating. (I realize there is a huge controversy over the consumption of animals, and I’m not trying to condone it, I just thought it was an adorable way of letting foreigners know what they were eating). My dad and I stuck with eggs, fruit, rice, and toast.

Once we packed the car up we headed over to the United States Consulate, to stop in and say hello to the representative that has helped us out this last year and a half. (He was the one that I got in touch with when my dad was detained for crossing the police line etc). It was nice to finally put a face to the name, and the three of us had a good talk for a little while.

Next we met up with our Japanese translator and her daughter! They have got to be some of the sweetest people I have ever met! The four of us went out for vegetarian curry and walked around downtown Osaka. We all were waiting for it to be time to meet our Japanese Attorney (the same one who helped us to win Erwin’s case).

We had a meeting with him for almost two hours, and got a lot of our questions answered. He was a very nice man who, I think, genuinely wants to help us out.

My dad and I were staying in Osaka one more night before we traveled to Taiji (today). So our translator and her daughter helped us find one! Once we checked in all four of us drove further into Osaka and met Steven Thompson for dinner at a vegetarian Chinese restaurant (haha, I feel like most of what I did today was eat!).

It was great to see Steven again! He cares so much about this cause and he is such a character to talk to. We all sat in the restaurant and talked about the campaign among other things for a couple of hours. When we were packing up to leave, Steven gave me some copies of a questioner that he had some of his students fill out in English. He said they watched the Cove and had a debate in their class that was televised. These questions were a part of that assignment. I thought I would share some of their answers with you, because they are quite interesting. Most of the kids said they did not support dolphin and whale hunting, but some did. You can get an idea of why these kids think the way that they do, because they do explain their answers. All the kids answering these questions are Japanese and are about 17 years old. Being only 18 myself, I was curious to see what kids my age (living here in Japan) thought about the issues of Dolphin hunting/Dolphin captivity.

I will post the questions below, with a positive and negative answer for both.

1. Are you for or against eating dolphins? Why?

“I Don’t agree because I think that eating whales is not Japanese traditional culture and dolphins are not food”.

“I am against eating dolphins, because I can’t think that I eat dolphins meat. I have been liking to watch tat swimming dolphins since childhood. Dolphins are loved by many people all over the world. Dolphins are pets rather than food.

2. Are you for or against eating whales? Why?

“No, I”m not. Whales are very delicious food so I like to eat it. Everyone doen’t know that whales are very delicious”.

“I object to eat whales and dolphins, because they can’t die easily and quickly. So we go out of the way to hunt and eat them but they are needed for ecosystem research. And they died after it, then their meats are a waste. I think we would eat before we would throw away”.

3. Are you for or against catching dolphins? Why?

“I’m against. I think that dolphins are very beautiful and cute. I like them. Moreover I think they are beautiful”.

“But.. but if we pitied only them, we should pity all the animals. Such as cattle, pigs and chickens. In which case we will be unable to eat anything. I don’t know which to choose”…

4. Are you for or against catching whales? Why?

“I’m not against. Whales have been very important for Japanese since the Jyomon age. And whales can make a lot of meat for eating”.

“I dislike IWC hunting whales and dolphins in my honesty opinion. Because I felt unhappy when I watched the situation that they were caught and killed by fishermen. It was a fearful thing for me as I like whales and dolphins very much”!

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My dad and I leave for Katsuura/Taiji today (here in about an hour)… so I will be posting again later today!

Swim Far, Swim Fast, Swim Deep,

Elora Malama

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