The whaling season got off to a good start with a collision between the Japanese ship and the Sea Shepherd hi-tech speedboat that sank the pirates. The Japanese media refer to the protesters as something like terrorists, and can’t seem to understand why the Australians, and most of the rest of the world, should have any objection to this lawful “research” culling of several hundred whales every year.
On paper they’re right of course, but the ironical thing is that most Japanese people wouldn’t care at all if they never ate whalemeat again. Many have probably never tried it, and it’s certainly not a prized delicacy like “toro” tuna belly for example. Whalemeat is more like what it was in Britain: something people had to eat when times were hard just after the war. There seems to be a mountain of the stuff in a big freezer somewhere which they’re doing their best to sell off with TV advertising. You still don’t see it in the supermarket though, or anywhere else for that matter.
So what’s all the fuss about? Why don’t they just quietly pack it in? The only thing I can think of is just plain stubbornness – noone like to be ordered around and the Japanese are no exception. The more they’re told to stop the more they’ll carry on… unless there’s some hidden vested interest here which I’m not aware of…
You don’t see it in the supermarket? Really? Maybe it’s just a Kochi thing but it appears regularly here.
I’ve never noticed whalemeat in the shops in Nagoya, though there are a couple of specialist restaurants I think. Maybe it is bigger in Shikoku?