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Filmmaker tries to rebut dolphin hunt documentary 'Cove'

44 Comments
By YURI KAGEYAMA

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44 Comments
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Don't believe in everything you hear or see. There are always three sides to every story. Your's theirs and the truth.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

How does interviewing a bunch of old whale hunters rebut "The Cove". If anything it only reenforces the fact that its a dying industry being kept alive old timers who can't let it go..

29 ( +36 / -7 )

and Hiroshima atomic bomb victims to counter what director Keiko Yagi thinks is an unfair dosage of “Japan-bashing.”

I see. Hiroshima was bombed and most Japanese don't eat dolphin meat anymore. Therefore, dolphin hunting is good.

31 ( +37 / -6 )

“Unless we can respect each other’s food culture, war will be a never-ending story,” Yagi told reporters after a screening Friday in Tokyo.

Is she suggesting differences in food culture can result in war? Or is that just a bad translation?

17 ( +21 / -4 )

Hiroshima atomic bombing, respecting each other's 'food culture' and dolphins being slaughtered. Yeah, I see that connection. What can you put with bluefin extinction? I know - the bases in Okinawa.

15 ( +18 / -3 )

@Mirai Hayashi

Actually, I was wondering that myself. Then I read this paragraph:

Her film argues that whale meat provided food in the lean years after Japan’s defeat in World War II and was frequently served in school lunches. The practice has been phased out, and most Japanese these days though have never eaten whale or dolphin meat, no more than Westerners have.

I'm not sure, but this paragraph hinted to me that she's not rebutting the portrayal of the dolphin hunt at the Taiji cove itself, but more so the portrayal that all Japanese people eat dolphin meat and consciously support what's going on in Taiji? I dunno... the article is not very clear on sending the director's message.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

No immediate plans for screening. Now that's good news.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

This broad has a lot of nerve. Does she have Twitter?

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Cannibalism is also a "food culture." Respect it!

17 ( +22 / -4 )

She filmed retired whalers reminiscing about the old days, but not today’s dolphin hunters or the people engaged in the lucrative business of selling dolphins to overseas aquariums and marine shows

If this is a rebuttal of The Cove, she's brought a badminton racquet to a rugby match.

The Taiji community could make a great living - and their own bestselling movie - by morphing into a resort for whale-watching and swimming with dolphins.

16 ( +18 / -2 )

Playing the victim card again! Maybe someone should tell this woman that the war ended 70 years ago. Then. Someone else should tell her that, this small number of people she mentions that hunt dolphins in Taiji supply the meat to supermarkets all over the country. I'm also sure ther is no mention of the WHO recommendation of dolphin meat being unfit for human consumption due to the high amounts of mercury in it, but that is just western interference in Japanese business, isn't it?

2 ( +10 / -8 )

There are no immediate screening plans for Yagi’s film.

In other words, this is going straight to a lonely corner of Youtube. A total non-story.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

“Behind The Cove” has interviews with Japanese whaling officials and footage of a whaling festival and Hiroshima atomic bomb victims to counter what director Keiko Yagi thinks is an unfair dosage of “Japan-bashing.”

Ugh...and the connection is what, sorry? This really gives you an insight into how some, if not a lot of Japanese people latently view these and similar issues - it's all baseless "Japan bashing" to them. It's childish. There's no reflection on WHY it's happening, let alone trying to accept it, just "Waaaah, they're picking on us again!!".

I think that their national identity is so tightly interwoven into their egos that whenever Japan gets flak for it's (many) issues, even if it's something far removed from them personally (e.g. dolphin hunting: only a few old oyaji's in backwater Taiji), they get offended and take it personally - combined with the 'uchi/soto' mentality and it becomes a very black-and-white 'them vs us' thing. How can Japan ever hope to tackle issues face-on?

6 ( +11 / -5 )

In other words, this is going straight to a lonely corner of Youtube

According to the flyer put out for yesterday's test screening, she's entering it for the Cannes Film Festival. She also hints at exposing a 'state secret' behind whaling.

http://jaef.la.coocan.jp/jf/notice/2015/0807.pdf

Gotta say, it doesn't sound much like a rebuttal.

SenseNotSoCommon has it right - people will pay good money for whale-watching and dolphin swims, way more than a handful of old men earn from slaughtering inedible meat. They could build up a thriving tourist industry that would benefit the whole area.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Stabbing to death trapped dolphins is an honorable tradition. It's a pity that cold, unfeeling foreigners can't appreciate that.

18 ( +21 / -3 )

Another case of self-importance that the person thinks is entitled to be on the world stage, that will flop, and ultimately as a result cause the director to be even more grounded in the thinking that the reaction is part of "Japan-bashing".

"Her film argues that whale meat provided food in the lean years after Japan’s defeat in World War II"

And when was that, exactly, and is there no other lean food today?

"...and was frequently served in school lunches."

Yes, that'll make the international crowd sympathize! When the government subsidized catch is not being consumed, the government forces the meat, which has much higher than the limit mercury levels, onto children! THAT is Japanese food-culture??

"The practice has been phased out, and most Japanese these days though have never eaten whale or dolphin meat, no more than Westerners have."

So, why is a documentaty that brings attention to the inhumane slaughter, and the unsafe levels of mercury being forced on school children and others, "being rebutted"?

Moron. Hope she doesn't cry to much and realizes that it was just a bad idea when it is utterly rejected by the entire world.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Hiroshima atomic bombing, respecting each other's 'food culture' and dolphins being slaughtered. Yeah, I see that connection. What can you put with bluefin extinction? I know - the bases in Okinawa.

They're just angry because Japan was caught with its pants down on the issue. It is a dying industry and there are some that think it should be preserved and should continue. Whatever you thought about the Cove, it opened up the eyes of the world and brought out the debate that Whale hunting and the killings of dolphins is a senseless act. I think people understand when Japanese talk about how whale meat was back in the day the main source of protein, but now in the 21st century is it clean and viable food source that we really need? Is it necessary to kill these highly intelligent animals? Personally, I don't think so, but I just get annoyed when people like this woman try to justify the killings with spin and more spin.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

plasticmonkeyAUG. 08, 2015 - 08:04AM JST and Hiroshima atomic bomb victims to counter what director Keiko Yagi thinks is an unfair dosage of “Japan-bashing.”

I see. Hiroshima was bombed and most Japanese don't eat dolphin meat anymore. Therefore, dolphin hunting is good.

It's funny, that's actually the excuse that was used in a South Park epesode of "Dolphin & Whale". I don't usually watch that show but a poster recommended it after reading a JT article about dolphin hunting in Japan. I also recommend watching it for a good laugh. Japan isn't singled out, everyone is poked at, America, Japan and the Sea Shepard.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Oh yeah! Gonna buy a camera (no tripod) and get me some of that old time, Nationalist money.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

OMG; " WaaaaH" yes; I agree with all these previously posted comments. Since you Bombed Hiroshima; then it's ok for us to do this to Dolphins. I TOTALLY see the connection....oh yeah, and we're feeding it to KIDS in school.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

tahoochi et al,

here too. i have been through this article 2-3-5 times. i do not see who or what is in support of what. Nor can I piece the title to the story point.

even things like

Yagi, who acknowledged she didn’t even own a tripod until halfway

that seem bent on incriminating her in low rent fashion (hell, during my first 'film', i had to down load from a super 8 cartridge while pressing the chassis manually downward to correct a speed continuity problem, of which footage, in the end, had the most heart in driving a segment).

who knows what this article is trying to offer.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

From this blurb this film seems rather scatterbrained in its approach..............and bringing in Hiroshima I would guess is pretty lame

I always thought increased whale consumption after WWII was encouraged by the US until farming etc got going again. Other than that there are only a few port towns that have consumed whales/dolphins for any length of time.

If this makes youtube I would check it out but doesn't sound like its going to be very convincing about anything other than most Japanese are TOO self sensitive & have difficulty evaluating & debating things

1 ( +3 / -2 )

With other posters here.... what about this is a rebuttal? I clicked interested to see if she had documented something that supported the whaling..but she didn't even interview the current generation of whalers.

Moreover, the willingness of the main people involved in The Cove makes me more sympathetic to their cause, as from what little I have seen of the Japanese slaughter, those involved are often rude to outsiders/camera people.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

“Unless we can respect each other’s food culture, war will be a never-ending story,”

How true. The dispute over who had the best sauerkraut which resulted in Hitler's invasion of Poland could have been avoided as could the great Kimchee schism and the spring roll kick-off later on. I look forward to more fascinating ideas in this production.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Human consumption of whales and/or dolphin meat have always been controversial and has been denounced by detractors on wildlife conservation, toxicity, and animal rights grounds for many years. Practice of human consumption of whales continues today in Japan, Norway, Iceland, Faroe Islands, by Basques, the Inuit and other indigenouspeoples of the United States (including the Makah people of the Pacific Northwest), Canada, Greenland; the Chukchi people of Siberia, and Bequia in the Caribbean Sea.

In Japan it has been an old tradition. Whales have been hunted for meat in Japan since before 800 AD dating back centuries ago believed to begin in the old Jomon Period or Era. An old norm of "tradition".. that has gone a rarity now in Modern Japan. After World War II, due to damage to Japan's infrastructure, whale meat became an important source of proteins.

What i don't see and never will understand is how it is that the denouncement and judgements are mostly and only pointed out to Japan alone? For this old practice / "tradition" is not only done in Japan....

In Europe, whale could once be hunted locally throughout the Middle Ages for their meat and oil. Under Catholicism, aquatic creatures were generally considered "fish"; therefore whale was deemed suitable for eating during Lent and other "lean periods". An alternative explanation is that the Church considered "hot meat" to raise the libido, making it unfit for holy days. Parts submerged in water, such as whale or beaver tails, were considered "cold meat.

In Japan with regards to dolphins, Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture is the only town in Japan where drive hunting still takes place on a large scale(???) Although if this is true, it is only in that particular region i believe. It has been criticized, documented and filmed in "The Cove". I have been residing in a Kanto prefecture (very near Tokyo) for more than 23 years now with my family and been to a lot of places from the Northern Japan to the Souths of Okinawa Islands, but up to this date fortunately i swore i have NEVER seen a dolphin meat yet anywhere here, in any markets nor in any restaurants. Least to say i have never tried eating or will never will.. even if it will be served in front of my meal here in Japan.. With regards to Whale meat though i have twice or thriced saw one served back in 1992 as beef jerky only as "whale jerky" in a gourmet restaurant. My hub who's a Japanese said to me along with my Father in Law confirming me that whale meats were served back in the days as school meal "kyushoku" dating back until the fiftees during post war as substitutes to cattle meat as beef, pork, and chicken meat are too expensive then and if there are cattle meats only rare and unaffordable.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in 2014, asked for understanding of Japanese dolphin hunting in a small town (Taiji) in western Japan responding to U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy. He said "The dolphin hunting is an ancient practice rooted in their culture and supports their livelihood. In every country and region, there are practice and ways of living and culture that have been handed down from ancestors. Naturally, I feel that they shoulb be respected"

For once in many, this time alone i agree with Abe.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

"The practice has been phased out, and most Japanese these days though have never eaten whale or dolphin meat, no more than Westerners have."

Whale was used widely in government mandated public school lunches in the 50s through the 70s. It was also common in inexpensive cafeteria lunches when I came to Japan in 1971. Any Japanese who attended public schools in those years almost certainly has eaten whale meat. The population that went through the school system in these years still constitutes the bulk of the contemporary Japanese population.

While relatively few eat whale today, only Japanese who started their schooling in the late 1980s are unlikely to have eaten whale.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Filmmaker tries to rebut dolphin hunt documentary 'Cove'

Key word...."tries" (and fails)

3 ( +5 / -2 )

"The practice has been phased out, and most Japanese these days though have never eaten whale or dolphin meat, no more than Westerners have."

My children ate whale meat at their Japanese elementary school once every school year as part of the Japanese food culture education program.

Also, at least 5,355 elementary and junior high schools in Japan served whale at least once during the 2009 academic year, that amounts to 18% of all such schools that have a school lunch program, according to one Japanese news source. Apparently, Japan's Institute of Cetacean Research made 150 tons of whale meat available to the schools for one-third the normal market price of Y2,060 per kilogram. The institute made 3% to 5% of its supply of whale meat available to school lunch programs that year.

http://www.47news.jp/CN/201009/CN2010090401000482.html

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I don't see how she can quite say 'phased out' when I can go around the corner to a major grocery chain and buy a tin of whale meat. It is available everyone, so someone must be buying it. And to say that 'no more than Westerners' have is complete idiocy! Or maybe she means Westerners living in Japan? JapanToday strikes again with a non-news item. It is amazing to me what passes for 'reporting'.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The title of the article does say the "Filmmaker tries to rebut..." It doesn't say she succeeds or even does a half decent job.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I wonder who funded this film? I'm sure our taxes have been spent on it in one way or another as part of Abe's propaganda drive.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

If any reader wants to query the reporter of this story for the associated press wire service yuri kageyama who is a well respected and thorough reporter on most of her ap stories....altho this one was a total fail non news story and reads like a pr press release...you can write to any ap reporter using the ap system of first initial last name at ap dot org. She is also on twitter, a poet and educated in usa and...a very nice person who values reader feedback.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

'A' for effort but the logic isn't there. Too much emo. Let me say I HAVE tasted whale meat. Not bad. Easy taste. It's not the point, is it? The whole article smacks of politics. Lots failing at the PM's quarters and they're trying to muster up some nationalism, which I quite resent. An attack on foreigners not accepting Japanese food? Holy S*^#. She must have been sleeping when all the stories of foreigners eating up all the Japanese food was being televised. BTW, aren't they now having, as we write, a major Japanese food festival in Milan, Italy?

She failed.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I've eaten whale meat sashimi at a kaitenzushi in shinjuku...1995....0ishii....and fried dolphin stew cooked with ginger in taiwan...also oishii....just once...both times for "research".....thumbs up, tastes good! Ps...in seattle bbq picnic i've eaten beaver ...the animal.....bear...walrus and moose. Kangaroo too. Beaver is best!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

One period at a time. No need to get excited.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Beaver is best!

Straighshooters agree big time. But, slaughtering dolphins is just- WRONG. And this "Keiko Yagi" has just got made an idiot of herself.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@ suzuran8061945wasurenagusa,

Dolphins are whales, albeit small ones, but they are still definitely whales.

So if you've seen generically labeled "whale meat", it can also be dolphin/porpoise meat.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@GW, Good comments.

I wish they would stop perpetrating the con that eating whale and dolphin is a "Japanese" tradition, whereas it was only a local tradition for a handful of villages.

When the USA who re-built the Japanese whaling fleet post-WWII, it was mostly to provide the USA with lubricants using cheap Japanese labor in fairly obsolete old American ships. Japan just got the waste product.

That does not add up to culture unless the "culture" is the culture of deliberate disinformation by the whaling lobby, part of which is the annual forced indoctrination of children.

If it had been about protein, they could have just imported soya beans or grown chickens. Whaling is not an bountiful and efficient supplier of protein, but was useful in greasing Detroit's automatic transmissions and numerous military applications.

If the documentary deliberately avoids the issue of hunting for captive entertainment, or the guys involved in the hunt for entertainment parks refused to talk, then it completely misses the point.

Since when were supplying dancing dolphins to everyone from China to the MIddle East "Japanese culture"?

I'm generally against the usual Japan bashing but next dolphin movie ought to intercut footage from Taiji with the Rape of Nanking and see how they like it.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

JapanToday strikes again with a non-news item.

Get used to it, along with seeing posts disappear as well.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Stupid goat****

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Sanseto - Also, at least 5,355 elementary and junior high schools in Japan served whale at least once during the 2009 academic year, that amounts to 18% of all such schools that have a school lunch program, according to one Japanese news source. Apparently, Japan's Institute of Cetacean Research made 150 tons of whale meat available to the schools for one-third the normal market price of Y2,060 per kilogram.

Yep! This is correct! And, do you know why it was sold to the schools at a third of retail price? Because there is no market for it and they have to give it away. This amounts to nothing more than, force-fed nationalism! However, the question is, was it whale meat or dolphin meat? They make no distinction between whale or dolphin meat and very often dolphin is sold as whale. This is a very alarming thing to do. Whale meat is quite clean and healthy (but tastes like dirt). On the other hand, dolphin meat is full of heavy metals and pesticides. This means, they are poisoning their kids for the sake of nationalism. Wake up Japan!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ms. Yagi, what you are saying or trying to depict in your film makes no sense. I think your 5 mins of fame is over so please get lost.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

lationz

I think that their national identity is so tightly interwoven into their egos that whenever Japan gets flak for it's (many) >issues, even if it's something far removed from them personally (e.g. dolphin hunting: only a few old oyaji's in >backwater Taiji), they get offended and take it personally - combined with the 'uchi/soto' mentality and it becomes a very >black-and-white 'them vs us' thing. How can Japan ever hope to tackle issues face-on?

^I felt that this was such an insightful comment that I had to quote it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Unless we can respect each other’s food culture, war will be a never-ending story,”

Well, raw beef with raw egg as well as raw liver has been removed from the Japanese cuisine. What about respecting that culture?? Why is it we can ban the above without so much of a peep while something that no one eats anymore is such a controversy???

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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