To some extent, both pro and anti-whaling groups can be benefitted by the heated arguments. Japanese mass media broadcast how SSCS's activities in a way that they look fanatic quite often during the time when most people are watching TV. I don't know how the story is in Australia but, basically, I think it works similarly to war propaganda.
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Was it common to all the Japanese? As I have wrote, there seem to be varied opinions about how popular the diet was.
In any case, I don't totally agree with any single-sided view although I have my own preference. Either it's "Whales shouldn't be eaten" or "Eating-whale is a tradition common to all Japanese" are just opinions and I don't see any justification in forcing such opinions on the lives of other people, either employing the name of "science" or "culture." Personally, I don't eat any meat but I have no intention to force this on any other individual, which is my preference-not justice or political/privilege. I see more of political satisfaction of conquering the others rather than justice here. And, of course, there are always people who exploit such political arguments for their own interests.
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@SamuraiBlue Yeah, I know that there are some historical evidences of eating whale meat and I'm not counter-arguing that. What I was pointing is that there seem to be different opinions about how common it was and I have my suspicion about making it look like a tradition common for all Japanese, whose diet varies depending on individuals. And, of course, who would be benefitted by such oversimplification?
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Auug, no. Dishes like Hari Hari nabe, Saezuri, Koro and Onomi have been a dish that have been enjoyed from the Edo period which was not something overly special or rare. People who argue whaling is not a tradition should understand that food culture of eating whale is traditional and that there are number of dishes that whale meat is the main ingredient for at least a hundred years.
By the majority? Even inland and during the age without fridge? My understanding is that they are quite rare dishes and mainly for rich people-my common sense tells the same. Honestly, I don't believe there were constant supply networks of whale meat in hundred years.
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This (http://ameblo.jp/nyudow/image-11815928966-12900926244.html) is a piece of article of Tokyo shimbun, in which, the author writes that the monopolization by Fisheries Agency and "amakudari" corporations of distribution network under the name of "research whaling" may rather have destroyed the traditional whaling by rural fishers in coastal areas. However, even the monopolization didn't live long. Now visit Japan and see how many shops/restaurants offer whale meat with your own eyes. Ironically, it must have been very easy for the majority who don't have habit of eating whale meat to give it up entirely upon anti-whaling propaganda. And yet, judging from these outputs, bureaucrats seem to be still trying to cling to the concession, which is now most likely to be tax-based. Does it comes as a surprise if there is a huge gap between what these bureaucrats try to make people believe through a part of mass media and actual lives?
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While I feel uneasy with an aspect of cultural colonialism, I don't know a single individual who regularly eats whale meat and I'm sure that it is merely a misleading cover-up for keeping the money pool which it offers to a handful of privileged people rather than for the minority who actually have the habit of eating whale meat.
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