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Rare whale meat barbecue restaurant in Osaka spreads food culture

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“We would like to protect our food culture by directly sending out information on real deliciousness (of whale meat),” said Shigeru Fujimoto, sales manager of Syuhari, which also processes whale meat products.

Then please do a little research about your "food culture". If I recall correctly Japanese only started eating whale in the first place because of widespread starvation and famine. Could be wrong.

So if you are trying to "protect" it, teach the people that it was only eaten as an "emergency" food and not as a delicacy.

School lunches served it because it was CHEAP, no other reason. Now people don't eat it because, depending upon how it is prepared, it just aint that great anyway, not to mention all the harmful chemicals in the meat.

“Its taste and chewiness differ depending on the cut of meat. I think it’s good for my skin too,” said a female customer in her 40s.

You THINK? No you don't think, you are brainwashed. Typically thinking means to come to a conclusion based upon a process, something you obvious are unfamiliar with......chewiness, that's another way of saying FAT.

4 ( +17 / -13 )

There's no reason to kill and eat whales. We have plenty of other food to consume. Whale population is declining. SAVE the whales!

5 ( +14 / -9 )

My husband was given whale meat for his school dinners and he says it was disgusting, in fact no one liked it.

4 ( +13 / -9 )

Aussie in Japan and I love whale, taste way better then the US beef they try and sell here. My 2 year old also loves it.

-14 ( +10 / -24 )

dwindling domestic consumption of whale meat under international whaling regulations

It isn't 'international whaling restrictions' causing the domestic consumption of whale meat to dwindle.

consumers opted for cheaper imported meats

Consumers opted for other meats because whale meat was only a stop-gap when Japan didn't have enough food after the war.

supermarkets and department stores in Japan are seen hesitant about dealing in whale meat amid long-standing debate on whaling in the international community

They aren't hesitant to stock it because of any 'long-standing debate'. They are hesitant to stock it because it doesn't sell and it's more profitable to give the shelf space to something else.

5 ( +13 / -8 )

There is not one single good reason to hunt and eat whales. "That is the way we did things in the past", simply won't do it. We, as humans, did a lot of bad things in the past mostly for lack of knowledge or punishment. Now we know how you hunt the whales and dolphins and we care about them. Leave them alone. If you say that is fine because that is how people here were brought up, might I suggest you also take a look a how the disparities of gender liberties in the Middle East, the men there use that same argument.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

I think it’s good for my skin too,” said a female customer in her 40s.

Yeah, if you want Mercury infested skin..

Then please do a little research about your "food culture". If I recall correctly Japanese only started eating whale in the first place because of widespread starvation and famine. Could be wrong.

Yes. If I'm not mistaken, it was Douglas MacArthur who spearheaded whaling after the war to ofset starvation. I think.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

A press release from the Japan Whaling Association filtered through Kyodo and presented as news to foreign readers, full of lies, half-truths and total fabrications. No-one in their right mind would eat whale as it's full of mercury. A lot of what is sold as whale is in fact dolphin or porpoise. Deliberately mis-labeled and full of poison; what kind of food culture is that?

2 ( +8 / -6 )

YubaruApr. 17, 2017 - 07:08AM JST “We would like to protect our food culture by directly sending out information on real deliciousness (of whale meat),” said Shigeru Fujimoto, sales manager of Syuhari, which also processes whale meat products. Then please do a little research about your "food culture". If I recall correctly Japanese only started eating whale in the >first place because of widespread starvation and famine. Could be wrong

You are wrong. http://luna.pos.to/whale/jwa_trad.html

School lunches served it because it was CHEAP School lunches used it because it was forced upon them by GHQ after 1945. Japan had a very capable whaling fleet and saved the US the task of flooding Japan with SPAM.

Sophie211Apr. 17, 2017 - 07:42AM JST "There's no reason to kill and eat whales. We have plenty of other food to consume. Whale population is declining. SAVE the whales!" Minke whales, which are taken by Japan, are not endangered in fact they are recognized as abundant.

notagainApr. 17, 2017 - 07:46AM JST My husband was given whale meat for his school dinners and he says it was disgusting, in fact no one liked it.

They don't serve school dinners. Never have.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

I love whale meat. I often eat it when I go to sushi. People saying it's disgusting, have you ever even eaten it? Pffft.

-3 ( +10 / -13 )

I love whale meat. I often eat it when I go to sushi. People saying it's disgusting, have you ever even eaten it? Pffft.

Doesn't say much about your tastes now does it? Yeah I tried it, and the sushi place I frequent served it a couple of times, BUT more importantly the owner of the place doesn't keep it on hand. You know why? It's because the over-whelming number of customers dont like it, so why stock something that wont sell!

Dont fall for the media BS.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

@Aly Rustom

Yeah, if you want Mercury infested skin.

There is mercury in all seafoods ..

Most-contaminated fish species The danger level from consuming fish depends on species and size. Size is the best predictor of increased levels of accumulated mercury. Sharks, such as the mako shark, have very high levels of mercury. A study on New Jersey coastal fish indicated that one third of the sampled fish had levels of mercury above 0.5 parts per million, a level that could pose a human health concern for consumers who regularly eat this fish. Another study of marketplace fish caught in waters surrounding Southern Italy showed that, undoubtedly, greater fish weight leads to additional mercury found in fish body tissues. Moreover, the concentration, measured in milligrams of mercury per kilogram of fish, steadily increases with the size of the fish. Anglerfish off the coast of Italy were found with concentrations as high as 2.2 milligrams of mercury per kilogram, higher than the recommended limit of 1 milligram of mercury per kilogram. Annually, Italy catches approximately a third of its fish from the Adriatic Sea, where these anglerfish were found. Fish that consume their prey in a certain manner may contain much higher concentrations of mercury than other species. Grass carp off the coast of China hold far less internal mercury than do bighead carp. The reason for this is that bighead carp are filter feeders, while grass carp are not. Thus, bighead carp gather more mercury by eating large amounts of small plankton, as well as sucking up sediments that collect a sizable amount of methyl mercury.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercury_in_fish#United_States_of_America

US government scientists tested fish in 291 streams around the country for mercury contamination. They found mercury in every fish tested, according to the study by the U.S. Department of the Interior. They found mercury even in fish of isolated rural waterways. Twenty-five percent of the fish tested had mercury levels above the safety levels determined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for people who eat the fish regularly

3 ( +6 / -3 )

I love whale meat. I often eat it when I go to sushi. People saying it's disgusting, have you ever even eaten it? Pffft.

I have. I can't say I like it very much. I wouldn't say it's disgusting, but it's definitely got a sharpness that I don't like so much.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

There's no reason to kill and eat whales. We have plenty of other food to consume. Whale population is declining.

This isn't true, and the reality is that a whale is an animal like any other, made of flesh and bone, and can be eaten like any other animal. Whale numbers have greatly increased since the petroleum oil replaced whale oil as an energy resource, and the international moratorium on whale hunting was enacted.

No-one in their right mind would eat whale as it's full of mercury. A lot of what is sold as whale is in fact dolphin or porpoise. Deliberately mis-labeled and full of poison; what kind of food culture is that?

Toothed whales have high mercury, like porpoises. But the great whales do not. If people are describing "whale meat" as coming from baleen whales (the most common large whales), this meat does not have high levels of mercury. Meat from porpoises, which is very high in mercury, is not supposed to be called whale meat, and the mislabeling of the meat, and describing it as "whale meat" is inaccurate, and illegal.

The consumption of whale meat in Japan is also a side effect of overpriced beef, pork, and chicken. In America and other developed countries, whale would be too expensive to compete against more common types of meat. But here in Japan where common meats cost three to four times as much (due to high tariffs and farm subsidies, and a cheap yen), whale meat becomes competitive. particularly to schools and such, which much spend carefully for provisions.

For myself, I don't care to eat whale, just as I don't care to eat lamb, or some other kinds of meat. I have no ideological (idiotological) reason to dislike it, it's just a matte of taste.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Whale meat was once a common dish including for school lunch menus in Japan

This should read, "It was force-fed to school children who were given no other choice."

No-one in their right mind would eat whale as it's full of mercury.

This statement is not entirely true. This only applies to toothed whales and dolphins. However, the mislabelling of dolphin meat as whale meat is common practice although, I'm confident this particular store would not be involved in this practice. This mislabelling is most common in cheap izakayas (restaurant pubs).

Japan's whale hunting 'research' is all about proving there are enough whales to create a sustainable harvest of the whales. However, the point missing from all their "Hoo-Haa" is, while there may very well be enough of certain species of whales to support a commercial harvest, there is not a commercially viable market for the consumption of the meat. At present, during their annual hunt in the southern oceans they catch around 3-400 whales, which is far less than they intend to catch thanks to the eco-pirates Sea Shepherd. However, most of the meat from this measly catch is not consumed and is stored in freezers all around the country. This would also mean, this particular shop is using this meat that may have been frozen for years. No wonder it's tender! While I agree that Japan does have small percentage of people who 'voluntarily' eat whale meat. Calling force-fed school lunches a food culture is utter rhetoric!

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

@ OssanAmericaAPR. 17, 2017 - 09:04AM JST

notagainApr. 17, 2017 - 07:46AM JST My husband was given whale meat for his school dinners and he says it was disgusting, in fact no one liked it.

They don't serve school dinners. Never have.

British English. 'School dinner' is what is often eaten at lunchtime.

http://projectbritain.com/education/schdinners.htm

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Not only mercury but pieces of plastic and micro fibres. Enjoy the whale meat!

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

whale meat might not be the best tasking meat, but for people who eat Natto it probably tastes like Kobe beef

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I tried it a couple of times served differently and it's not for me, so I won't bother again.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Well if you love whale like I do .. then enjoy this Whale Recipe

Whale & Avocado Wasabi Mayo Donburi

Fresh sashimi whale beef block 100ml Soy Sauce 200ml Sweet Red Wine 50ml Mirin 1 Tbsp. Sugar 1 Avocado 1⁄4 cup Kewpie Mayonnaise Wasabi to taste. (☆) Nori Strips

In a saucepan, add soy sauce, wine, mirin, sugar, and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, pour in to a bowl and refrigerate until very cold. Heat a frying pan on high heat, add a little oil, sear tuna on all sides for 3~4 seconds, place in the very cold wine marinate and return to refrigerator for no less than 2 hours. Cut avocado in half, remove seed/skin and slice or cube, depending on how hard the avocado is. In a bowl mix mayonnaise, wasabi to taste, add avocado and coat gently. Thinly slice the tuna, place steamed rice in a bowl, top with sliced tuna, then avocado wasabi mayo mixture. Garnish with nori strips.
-4 ( +6 / -10 )

Aussie in Japan and I love whale, taste way better then the US beef they try and sell here. My 2 year old also loves it. you feeding that tripe to your 2yr old son!? All whale meat sold in Japan, including that which is caught in the southern oceans, have been proven to contain high levels of mercury. It has been scientifically proven by researchers at the University of Hokkaido that in all whale muscle samples ( the most popular part consumed) the levels exceeded safety standards by 2.5~25 times! Yet the J gov does nothing about it. Seems recalcitrant pride doesn't sound so delicious after all.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

There is mercury in all seafoods ..

Shigure, there is mercury in SOME seafood not all. And the ones that have high levels of mercury such as 鮪 one should avoid eating.

Moreover, the concentration, measured in milligrams of mercury per kilogram of fish, steadily increases with the size of the fish.

Well there you are. Since whales are larger than most fish, their mercury concentration should be higher as well.

Sharks, such as the mako shark, have very high levels of mercury.

Do you eat the Mako shark? I don't. I don't know anyone who has either.

Anglerfish off the coast of Italy were found with concentrations as high as 2.2 milligrams of mercury per kilogram, higher than the recommended limit of 1 milligram of mercury per kilogram

Then they shouldn't be eaten either. Would YOU eat an Anglerfish with 2.2 milligrams of mercury?? I wouldn't.

Thus, bighead carp gather more mercury by eating large amounts of small plankton,

As do whales. And since they are larger than carp it follows that they have an EVEN higher level of mercury than the carp and therefore should not be eaten.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

This statement is not entirely true. This only applies to toothed whales and dolphins. sorry incorrect, it applies to all whale/dolphin species sold in Japan, toothed whales and dolphins hads the highest mercury levels. All species exceeded the government saftey limits.

Between 2000 and 2002, prof Endo and his colleagues purchased whale meat in towns across Japan — from tiny fishing villages to Tokyo. They measured total mercury levels in the samples and did a genetic analysis to verify the species of each whale.

The researchers analyzed 137 meat samples in all and found that every one exceeded the provisional mercury level set by the Japanese Ministry of Health, which is 0.4 parts per million (ppm). Out of nine different whale species identified, the lowest average mercury level was 1.26 ppm and the highest was 46.9 ppm, with the majority of species ranging from 5-10 ppm.

The two highest mercury levels in individual samples were found in a false killer whale (81 ppm) and a striped dolphin (63.4 ppm).

So unless the world's oceans have suddenly become cleaner in the last 15yrs Prof Endos result would still be relevant today.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

The researchers analyzed 137 meat samples in all and found that every one exceeded the provisional mercury level set by the Japanese Ministry of Health, which is 0.4 parts per million (ppm).

Has the government since then upped the mercury level deemed to be safe? You know, lessons from Fukushima!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

people stop being overly emotional about killing whales. you only feel that way because they are big, you do not care if someone steps on an ant but you do not see the ant so you do not care.

nobody has ever died from eating whale meat, they live in the same water the fish you eat live in.

Stop the emotional, irrational fake outrage over cute whales

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

One more thing shigure..

Aussie in Japan and I love whale,

But you said

Im British, my wife is Japanese and my son has a full Japanese name

posted in Japan’s top baby names for 2015. So which is it? Are you British or Aussie?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

wtfjapan - The two highest mercury levels in individual samples were found in a false killer whale (81 ppm) and a striped dolphin (63.4 ppm).

Yeah, both of which are toothed whales, right? There is one thing missing from your indignation of my statement. You are talking about locally caught whales from Japanese waters. My post refers to the whales caught in the southern oceans, which do not contain high amounts of mercury, pesticides or other heavy metals. A commercially viable whale meat market would be stocked with whales from the southern oceans. The whales and dolphins caught around the coast of Japan are consumed locally. They hunt pilot whales of the coast of southern Chiba every year, but the meat does not make it to Tokyo supermarkets. It is all sold locally to poison the local kids.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

It is all sold locally to poison the local kids.

OMG please, cite one case a person dies from eating whale. You are emotional, illogical and silly. If I step on an ant nobody cares, but the cute whales oh myyyyy

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

You are talking about locally caught whales from Japanese waters. My post refers to the whales caught in the southern oceans, no im talking about all whale products sold all over Japan, If you want to know the 9 actual whales species tested you need to read Prof Endos results. Sothern ocean caught whales spend half of the year feeding in northern waters also, all large, long living whales contain high levels of mercury due to the huge amount of fish they eat. SO the fact still remains all whale products you buy or eat in Japan, there is a high probability it contains high levels of mercury. So unless you can confirm that the whale meat you purchase is labeled correctly and states a species with a lower mercury level then the probability is also high that the meat contains high levels of mercury. Personally, Id prefer to stick to meats that are safer and healthier. My opinions are backed by scientifically proven facts not made up statistics.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

OMG please, cite one case a person dies from eating whale.

The Japan Times story notes: “Meanwhile, Japan’s National Institute of Population and Social Security Research has cited mortality figures in Taiji, for 2007, at 67 deaths from a population of some 3,500 residents — putting the town’s overall mortality rate more than 50 percent above other villages nationwide of roughly the same population. However Kozagawa, west of Taiji, where dolphin meat is also consumed, showed an even higher rate — with 82 deaths from a population of 3,426 people in 2007.”

https://dolphinproject.net/campaigns/save-japan-dolphins/danger-dolphin-meat-is-poisoned-by-mercury/

0 ( +4 / -4 )

SO the fact still remains all whale products you buy or eat in Japan, there is a high probability it contains high levels of mercury

and nobody gets sick from it, and nobody cares. whales are animals like cows and chicken. find a different cause to get mad about

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Probably dolphin meat from Taiji.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@Aly Rustom are you really that gullible? I suppose if they eat more bananas than the village next to them they are dying from banana poisoning?

Seriously find a better cause to get mad about. Children are being abused, politicians are taking bribes and you are worried about whales. OMG..

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

and nobody gets sick from it, and nobody cares. whales are animals like cows and chicken. find a different cause to get mad about Japan has a well-documented history of mercury poisoning of its citizens, and yes people do get sick from it. Another fact that just dissolved your post.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

people stop being overly emotional about killing whales. you only feel that way because they are big, you do not care if someone steps on an ant but you do not see the ant so you do not care.

If you step on an ant, it dies instantly. There's no way to slaughter whales, dolphins, and large marine animals quickly with any sort of precision. They're large size also makes their physiology a mystery despite all the "research" conducted by Japan. We still don't know how long they're alive and left to suffer after being harpooned, dragged to exhaustion, and pulled aboard. That's why eating whales is cruel.

It's not about how cute or emotionally attached we are to the animals. If you live in a part of a world where monkeys, rabbits, dogs, etc. are the only source of protein, by all means do it but slaughter them quickly and humanely. Japan has options. There's no reason to chose the cruel one, regardless of tradition. We abandon cruel and pointless traditions all the time, it's called progress.

and nobody gets sick from it, and nobody cares.

You're right, Japan doesn't care. It's not that they don't have standards for safe mercury levels, it's just that they don't enforce it for tuna and whales. Tuna already exceeds their own standards of safety, whales due to their size exceed it more. How can we be sure of the effects on the population if they won't do the research? Mercury doesn't just cause physical sickness, it's linked to a host of less obvious conditions in mental health like depression, learning disabilities, etc.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

They should do dog also. and insects.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Whale meat barbecue sounds just delicious. What's everyone complaining about?

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Whale meat barbecue sounds just delicious. What's everyone complaining about? unfortunately for me, deliciousness doesn't supersede the mercury label health risks, but if you dont mind then Bon appetite!

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

"Complaining" about Offal being seved as a food, each bite is a substantial chunk of tax payer money washed down with tasty sauce. But is unique to pay for offal twice and it is part of the culture eating crap is after all a national past time.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

if you dont mind then Bon appetite!

It's not that I wouldn't mind, it's that I don't think propaganda and reality necessarily are the same thing. Whale eaters must sure have low life expectancies, right! But whale eaters are surely grateful for your serious concerns about their health.

each bite is a substantial chunk of tax payer money

We should have commercial whaling, so that only the people who want to eat it pay for it. So can Japan please have a commercial whaling quota now? Thanks.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

I realize it is "hip" to be worried about whales but if a village eats more bananas than another and has a higher sick rate it does not equal banana poison.

Chicken, whale, cow all the same despite the "cuteness"

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

@wtfjapan

I have more chance dying from WWIII started by the US, then dying from toxins in whale meat. Tell the truth have more chance getting mad cows from eating US beef then mercury poisoning from whale, lucky for my family we do not eat US beef, but whale once a month we do.

Problem is people mainly 'Whites' think eating a cow, pig, chicken or rabbits for example is fine because they are farmed, but go bat shyte crazy about Japanese eating whale, and I say Japanese because no one says a bloody world about the other countries that still carry out whaling.

Norway kills more whales than Japan and Iceland combined, if you must know whale consumption continues today in Norway, Iceland, Faroe Islands, South Korea, China, the Inuit and other indigenous peoples of the United States that includes the Makah of the Pacific Northwest, Canada, Greenland; the Chukchi people of Siberia, and in St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean. ..... But 'ONLY' Japan and Japanese are targeted for abuse over whaling ... Why is that?

A staggering 40% of tourists visiting Iceland admitted that they had eaten whale meat, but do we hear anyone bashing Iceland about whaling.

OH and most of the rubbish about whale meat is posted by Anti-Whaling Groups and most are aimed at Japan, pretty sad if you ask me.

People should look at the killing of animals in their own backyards before they go off on racist rants about Japan killing whales.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Awesome. Will be hitting this place as soon as I can. I quite enjoy eating whale when I can find it.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

It's not that I wouldn't mind, it's that I don't think propaganda and reality necessarily are the same thing.

Which side's propaganda? The pro-whalers' ignoring of Japan's own safety standards?

I realize it is "hip" to be worried about whales but if a village eats more bananas than another and has a higher sick rate it does not equal banana poison.

It seems to be a recent worldwide trend to go against common sense too. A sensible person would at least look into those bananas.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

You're right, Japan doesn't care. It's not that they don't have standards for safe mercury levels, it's just that they don't enforce it for tuna and whales.

so why do Japanese have a longer life span? hmm

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The pro-whalers' ignoring of Japan's own safety standards?

If Japan is ignoring its own safety standards, then it's Japanese who will suffer right? They themselves would realise it if whales were killing them. But Japanese people seem to be in good health. So do Icelanders and Norwegians for that matter. That says it for me, but if you personally take issue with it, I wonder why - since you presumably aren't being forced to eat whale meat. Is it not the case that you just want to tell other people what to do and are using this as an excuse to do so?

A sensible person would at least look into those bananas.

In any case Japan has one of the highest life expectancies in the world, which is amazing when you consider that Japanese baby boomers were chowing down lots of whale meat in the 1960's. If anything I'd conclude that whales might be a boost for the health, all up.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Shigure: You forgot to change all the instances of "tuna" to "whale" in your so-called "Whale recipe". Better luck next time.

I assume the restaurant stresses the low-calorie, low-fat aspects of whale meat and ignores the high heavy metal content? I still don't understand why whale meat that contains heavy metals in excess of legal limits is allowed to be sold by supermarkets.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

"Chicken, whale, cow all the same despite the "cuteness". Is that all you can say? That's not even an argument. And do people really think whales are cuter than chickens, cows, pigs?

Cute is probably the wrong word, majestic would imo be more appropriate and yes I do think a fair chunk of the love ppl have for whales is related to them being majestic creatures (nothing wrong with that, they sure are) rather than endangered species per se. So yes it is an emotional love.

Naysayers/anti-whaling folks who aren't 100% vegans/fur-free etc are imo hypocrites. Sure it probably takes longer to kill a whale but livestock-loading onto trucks, trains etc isn't particularly human either and probably even more stressful.

I eat (or have tried) all types of meats from rabbit to kangaroo, croc, horse, shark, duck, boars etc and although I have never tried whale meat I know I'll never bag ppl who have them on the menu. It's a personal choice. We are all Barbarians I guess.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Is the meat served rare, or is it the meat of rare whales, or is it rare to have a whale meat barbecue restaurant?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So there goes the Scientific Research excuse....

1 ( +2 / -1 )

nothing wrong with eating whale and if it is so dangerous why do Japanese live longer?

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

When is the last time you heard of anyone being hospitalized, much less dying from eating whale meat? All seafoods contain mercury and if the levels are such that they pose a risk, it is a problem for those who consume it and the Japanese government. Not an argument to be used by those simply against any killing whales.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

What's this ludicrous nationalistic propaganda pretending to be news?!

Maybe this kind of cr@p is normal in Japan but for an international readership it's just ridiculous.

This kind of "article" should be consigned to magazines such as "Japan Whaler" or "Right-Wing Nippon Weekly" or similar.

It's not appropriate for mainstream news.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

This is fantastic. It is a shame that this type of restaurants are not available everywhere in Japan. In additional, restaurants should serve dolphin meat, sea lion and seal meat or anything we could think of. I am sure there are hundreds of millions out there like me who want to eat these meat. Most people want us to believe these creatures are endangered. The reality is that creatures such as whales are so plentiful that their population experiences a massive explosion. We must resume commercial whaling as soon as possible just to keep the eco-system balanced.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Y'all act like this is something new and rare. I saw 2 whale restaurants and a can of whale meat at Lawson on the way to writing this comment.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I don't see an issue with hunting and eating whales or any animal for that matter. If your tastes run to whale meat, have at it.

I personally like veal, but hear people getting upset at how the calf is raised. I eat it, but don't pass judgement on anyone who chooses not to consume veal.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

When I was on JET, me and a couple buddies had the 'First Annual Whale Cook-off' at the beach when they were having some JET pow-wow. Some big Canadian girl came bounding over and kicked a couple of our grills (and dinner) over into the sand. Then she started berating the Japanese girls that were with us. We laughed so hard it hurt and she went even more bananas.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

It's not that I wouldn't mind, it's that I don't think propaganda and reality necessarily are the same thing. firstly, a scientific study has shown all whale meat sold in Japan have mercury levels that exceed the safety standards, secondly mercury poisoning has a well documented history in Japan and other countries, so your reality certainly doesnt make the facts propaganda. Im sure if whale meat was a regularly consumed today like in the 40/50s the health effects would be far more visible. Mercury levels in the worlds oceans are substantially higher today than they were 60yrs ago. SO Ill state it again to those that dont know, "All whale meat sold in Japan has mercury levels that exceed J gov safety standards", so if you want feed that tripe (probably an insult to tripe) to your self and your families and if you think the risks are justified then go right ahead. With all the safer, healthier cheaper and tastier meats available, why would you want too!?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I have more chance dying from WWIII started by the US, then dying from toxins in whale meat. Tell the truth have more chance getting mad cows from eating US beef then mercury poisoning from whale, lucky for my family we do not eat US beef, OH and most of the rubbish about whale meat is posted by Anti-Whaling Groups and most are aimed at Japan, pretty sad if you ask me. since when does America have anything to do with the safety of whale meat? Last I checked Japan has had numerous madcow, birdflue, pigflue, foot in mouth outbreaks and radiation contamination over the last 20yrs so your safety food Japan mentality is void of evidence. OH and the rubbish your refering too is actually a scientific study conducted by Prof Endo from the University of Hokkaido. hes not apart of any pro or anti whaling group as far as im aware. I love how people like to spread their brainwashed propaganda without any real evidence to back their claims. OH and im not American. But hey I know recalcitrant pride doesnt make people think logically so I wont hold it against you.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

This is just wrong.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Needs to be SHUT DOWN NOW!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

...and the reality is that a whale is an animal like any other, made of flesh and bone, and can be eaten like any other animal.

You keep telling yourself that.

...people stop being overly emotional about killing whales. you only feel that way because they are big, you do not care if someone steps on an ant but you do not see the ant so you do not care.

Ants aren't sentient beings.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

They are hunted for scientific research only! scientifically proven to be delicious.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

It is a shame that this type of restaurants are not available everywhere in Japan. In additional, restaurants should serve dolphin meat, sea lion and seal meat or anything we could think of.

Why don't you stick to your own territories instead of fishing the entire world out. We know the Japanese will eat anything that moves (and more) but why don't you take your country's enormous population into account and stop pillaging from other parts of the earth where you are not welcome (i.e. Antarctica)? In other words, take some social responsibility. Prove that you are capable of fathoming it!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

choiwaruoyaji - What's this ludicrous nationalistic propaganda pretending to be news?!

Maybe this kind of cr@p is normal in Japan but for an international readership it's just ridiculous.

This kind of "article" should be consigned to magazines such as "Japan Whaler" or "Right-Wing Nippon Weekly" or similar.

It's not appropriate for mainstream news.

Fortunately, you have no authority over what media outlets can publish, and others can post.

And your use of masking to hide bad language from the moderators is inappropriate.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Just let the Japanese eat their whale meat. The abattoirs in America, and the way Americans eat meat, are much more horrid and appalling than what the Japanese are doing. Animals are bound to, and do, go extinct with or without human tampering. Just because you may have a subjective affection for a certain species doesn't mean others will or have to feel the same way.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

"We would like to protect our food culture by directly sending out information on real deliciousness (of whale meat)," said Shigeru Fujimoto, sales manager of Syuhari

There is a lot wrong there, but the bit I'd like to focus on is the "sending out information" part. It seems to me that the big new buzzword in Japan is "jouhou hasshin", a business-speak expression which I started to hear in connection to businesses using social media for promotional purposes. As the word has spread, you now get every Tom, Dick, and Harry using insufficient "jouhou hasshin" as an excuse for their endeavour not being as popular as they think it deserves to be. "We just need more promotion" is the new solution for everything, and bypasses any questioning of the quality or desirability of your product or service. Foreign tourists don't visit a town in inaka somewhere because they don't know about it, not because it is insufficiently attractive to them and they'd rather go elsewhere. People don't eat whale meat because they don't know about its "real deliciousness", not because they don't like it or like other things more. People aren't engaged by every single Japanese cultural property because curators don't explain them well enough, etc. etc.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is illegal by even Japanese standards of allowed mercury poisioning. How is a food that has an illegal amount of mercury in it allowed on the shelves or in restaurants? Why have food laws at all if they can be bought off?

Whale meat is in the Minamata disease level of food contamination of methylmercury. It can never meet the 0.4 ppm safety limit and all consumption should have ended in the 1950's. Since then mercury levels have only increased. Being ignorant will just add to the dementia outbreak that continues in Japan as well. Japanese have the laws in place but will not act because of politics, not science they themselves proved! Too bad the medical associations don't have a PR department like the whale industry

0 ( +0 / -0 )

your use of masking to hide bad language from the moderators is inappropriate.

Sorry that I upset your delicate sensibilities there.

Hope there was no lasting damage.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

After logging in yet again ....

where's the report button for bnbr-violating posts like kultbuster's?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

wtfjapan Apr. 18 12:48 am JST a scientific study has shown all whale meat sold in Japan have mercury levels that exceed the safety standards

"All whale meat"? Just give us a link or just stop it.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

CH3CHO plenty of articles about the study just do a search, 2000~2002 Prof Endo sampled 137 whale meat from 9 different species and found all samples mercury levels exceeded the government safety standards. So in the last 15yrs unless Japanese have suddenly added a new species of whale to their menu or if the worlds oceans have suddenly become cleaner then Prof Endo results would still be relevant today. The fact remains that any whale meat sold in Japan today has a very high probability of contain unsafe mercury levels, unless you can verify the whale species and the mercury content at purchase you just playing a game of lotto. Sorry if Prof Endo has damaged your pride but it doesnt change his findings, OH and those other studies that show whale meat as being healthy etc were funded by the fisheries ministry. I know whos results Id put my trust in. Ive given proof of my statements , now I think its only fair the whale eaters show some SCIENTIFIC proof that eating whale meat wont expose you to abnormal levels of mercury. There was a study in AMerica also showed that the larger the marine animal the higher levels of mercury it contained. As whales live long lives and consume huge amounts of fish it easy to understand why .

0 ( +0 / -0 )

wtfjapan Today 10:22 am JST

Just give us a link or cite the paper by Prof. Endo who, if it exists. Be sure he proved that "all whale meat sold in Japan" is contaminated beyond safety standard.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

ch3cho look just search "prof endo mercury whale meat" you do know how to do that, plenty of articles come up. Also of note Norway the largest exporter of whale meat has over the years had numerous whale shipment of minke whale a popular whale meat banned. They found high levels of aldrin, dieldrin, and chlordane, in the meat. Just more proof that whale meat has a high probability of containing high contaminants that say smaller ocean fish consumed by people. You can also search "Norway whale meat contamination" heres one paper that lists many whales species and their levels of toxins as recent as 2012, they also state some of Prof Endos results https://oceancare.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Report_Toxic-Menu_Walfang_EN_2009.pdf

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

wtfjapan Today 12:21 pm JST

I have read your link and nowhere it said "all whale meat sold in Japan have mercury levels that exceed the safety standards" as you said at Apr. 18 12:48 am JST

Your link talks about that small sample of whale meat exceeded "safety levels", which actually is a "national health advisory levels", without specifying if the toxin was mercury or PCB, and that a whale that was captured off the coast, but whose meat was not sold, had higher-than-advisory-level mercury in its body without specifying which part of the body it was.

Nowhere in what apparently is a propaganda material you linked, it says, "all whale meat sold in Japan have mercury levels that exceed the safety standards".

So, just admit it and stop it.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Ill say whatever I want! , you need read more about Prof Ando, he clearly states he tested the muscle of each species (the most common part sold ) all found to have exceeded the government safety limits. Organs like liver and tongue had much higher levels than the muscle!. and the fact remains purchasing whale meat in Japan has a much higher probability of containing heavy metals and contaminants than say poultry , beef, pork smaller ocean fish. Im sorry if the facts hurt you nationalistic pride but the scientific evidence is there. You can choice to ignore it or heed the warnings. I personally and my family will be sticking to the safer, cheaper healthier, tastier meats. happy reading

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Really getting tired of the heavy censorship by Japan Today's moderators of comments that are relevant to their topics. Might be time to leave. JT should be disgusted with itself. I can only imagine that the JT staff ordering this to be done must be quite sad people.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Has the Public Health of Japan ever been sued for not banning methylmercury infused whale meat as being unfit for human consumption? Japanese predecessors defined the science limits on mercury after Minamata from the 50's, so it'll just take someone with the notion that government is there to protect people from harm, not serve companies to act. Y'know, like the courts.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Just more proof that whale meat has a high probability of containing high contaminants that say smaller ocean fish consumed by people.

No it is not proof of that. Just because some whale meat (from North Atlantic coastal whales) had high levels of anything proves nothing about whale meat in general or in comparison to say smaller ocean fish.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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