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SHALL WE TALK ABOUT WHALES AND WHALING? (10)

Lest we forget @ Albany

“Of course, it is in a remote place,” said a lady at a tourist information centre, slightly frowning.  I was a little paralysed with her reaction as it was not in the context of what I said before her words.

In the early November last year, I was in Albany, WA. As many of you, hopefully, may remember, Albany was the place where the last whaling station in Australia was operating.  The site has turned into a museum named the Whale World.  It seemed that it was crucial for me to visit the site for my research, and so I did.

It was quite a trip from Melbourne.  I flew into Perth and then took a coach service to Albany the next day.  I could have rented a car but because I hadn’t driven a car for more than a decade, I thought I better stay away from driving for other drivers’ safety.

Shall we talk about whales and whaling? (5)

Whales and geisha girls

 

Whether or not whaling and eating whale meat is a genuine part of Japanese culture is one of the hottest points of debate between a pro-whaling camp and an anti-whaling camp.  The former claims that whaling and whale-eating culture has existed in Japan since the ancient time and is, therefore, a part of Japanese culture.  

 

     On the other hand, the anti-whaling camp asserts that Japan’s cultural claim is a fraud, as whale meat consumption is not a nationwide practice and there are a lot of Japanese who have never eaten the meat.  Pointing to whaling, they insist, specifically referring to the Japanese scientific research whaling in the Antarctic, that the pelagic whaling with big ships and sophisticated equipments is a modern practice and not at all traditional.

 

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