26 March 2011

Tsunami destroyed Japan's whaling industry. 
An end to whaling!!!
AYUKAWAHAMA, Japan — At first glance, it seemed like just one more flattened building in a seaside town where a tsunami had leveled hundreds of homes. But survivors gathered at this one to stand and brood.
Ko Sasaki for The New York Times
Seiko Taira admired a can of whale meat that her daughter found in the wreckage. Whaling remains popular in Ayukawahama.
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    The New York Times
    Ayukawahama was close to the epicenter of Japan’s quake.
    They came to what had been the headquarters of Ayukawa Whaling, one of only a handful of companies left in Japan that still hunted large whales. Those who gathered on a chilly recent Thursday spoke as if the company’s destruction two weeks ago had robbed the town of its soul.
    “There is no Ayukawa without whaling,” said Hiroyuki Akimoto, 27, a fisherman and an occasional crewman on the whaling boats, referring to the town by its popular shorthand.
    Japan’s tsunami seems to have succeeded — where years of boycotts, protests and high-seas chases by Western environmentalists had failed — in knocking out a pillar of the nation’s whaling industry. Ayukawahama was one of only four communities in Japan that defiantly carried on whaling and eating whales as a part of the local culture, even as the rest of the nation lost interest in whale meat.
    So central is whaling to the local identity that many here see the fate of the town and the industry as inextricably linked.
    “This could be the final blow to whaling here,” said Makoto Takeda, a 70-year-old retired whaler. “So goes whaling, so goes the town.”
    The damage was particularly heavy here because Ayukawahama sits on the tip of a peninsula that was the closest land to the huge undersea earthquake 13 days ago. The resulting tsunami tore through the tiny fishing towns on the mountainous coastline, reducing Ayukawahama to an expanse of splintered wood and twisted cars. Three out of four homes were destroyed, forcing half of the town’s 1,400 residents into makeshift shelters.
    At the offices of Ayukawa Whaling, only a light green harpoon gun — which once proudly decorated the entrance — and an uprooted pine tree were left standing. Across a parking lot stood the skeletal frame of the factory where whale meat was processed. A beached fishing boat and crumpled fire truck lay on the raised platform where the whales were hoisted ashore to be butchered.
    The company’s three boats, which had been sucked out to sea, washed up miles down the coast with remarkably little damage. But they remain grounded there.
    Ayukawa Whaling’s chairman, Minoru Ito, said he was in the office when the earthquake struck, shattering windows and toppling furniture. He led the employees to higher ground.
    All 28 of them survived, he said, though he later had to lay them off. He said he fully intended to rebuild, hopefully in time for an autumn hunt off the northern island of Hokkaido, though he acknowledged the recovery might take more time. He said the most costly part would be getting the whaling ships back in the water, an undertaking that the company cannot afford without government help.
    Once the ships are ready, he wants to hire back the employees. However, he admitted that the waves might have scared some employees away, from both whaling and Ayukawahama.
    “If we can fix the ships, then we’re back in business,” said Mr. Ito, 74, whose father was also a whaler. “They should not be afraid, because another tsunami like that won’t come for another 100 years.”
    Other residents were similarly undaunted. Mr. Akimoto, the occasional whaler, who came with a friend to see the ruined company, said the town needed to resume whaling as soon as possible to lift its spirits.
    He said the year would be a sad one because the town would miss the April hunting season, during which coastal whalers like Ayukawa Whaling are allowed to take 50 minke whales under Japan’s controversial whaling program, which is ostensibly for research.
    Ayukawahama and the other three whaling communities — among them Taiji, made infamous by the movie “The Cove” — hunt only in coastal waters. Japan’s better-known whaling in the Antarctic is conducted by the government.
    Mr. Akimoto said April was usually the town’s most festive month, especially when large whales were brought ashore. He said he would miss that feeling this year.
    Added his friend, Tatsuya Sato, 20, “We are so hungry that if they brought a whale ashore now, the whole town would rush down to eat it.”


    1. There is a Dutch expression that sounds like; "every disadvantage has its advantage".

      May the whales be left in peace!

    2. The sun shines on the just and the unjust. It burns the crops or helps them to grow. It helps produce vitamin D in our bodies or gives us a sunburn. It doesn’t care one way or the other. It is only shining, not punishing or rewarding anyone.

      Gravity holds the just and the unjust to the earth. It causes apples to fall on our heads, but keeps all the oxygen from floating away into space. It is only holding all of us, not rewarding some and punishing others.

      The tsunami killed the just and the unjust in Japan. It damaged the whaling factory, and it damaged hospitals and daycare centers. It killed meat-eaters and vegetarians. Who knows, it may have killed a whale or two itself. It only moved a whole lot of water. It had no capacity to determine the consequences or care about those whose lives it disrupted.

      The only glory of it is that we are the ones who can care. If the idea is that Consciousness can act upon and have consequences in physical reality, then we must decide to be vehicles for that. Donations? Definitely! Prayers? Of course! What else? You decide what Consciousness “wants”. You choose the quality of Consciousness you want to see manifested. To me it seems evident that it has no capacity to do that independently from what any of us choose to do.

    3. Hello Master Edji,
      Thinking about you army of the Kind, the guys who made The Cove were a fine Commando of the Kind !
      Wish you the best in your own combat for the cats !
      With love and light.

    4. Jeff, are you sure that consciousness is just around to manifest us, or does it have its own rules? I am far less sure than say 5 years ago. You assume we have independent free will and can change how consciousness manifests, but what if free will is only an illusion, as are we, and only the workings of a moral code in consciousness is real.

      Consciousness does not have to be pin point like a US bomb and smite only the unjust, say the fishermen and a couple of factories. The workings are far more mysterious than this.

      We are all guilty for the sins of mankind unless we act to diminish them. The town supported whaling, everyone was complicit. The same with all of Japan. They universally rejected limits on whaling as a people, demanding no interference with their traditions.

      As I point out, two of the worlds worst offenders when it comes to animals and many other things, are the US and China. Both are constantly suffering from huge natural disasters, which they blame on nature unknown. But what if we experiment with a kinder nation. Will that nation, so conceive and dedicated, suffer like Japan is now and the US and China always are?

    5. Dear Edji,

      No, I am not certain about what Consciousness is or does, and as you said, I feel less certain as the years progress. (I hope that is the beginning of some level of wisdom…) I wanted only to offer my viewpoint in a thoughtful way.

      I am just trying to make sense out of a chaotic world, in such a way that I can create a path of right action through it. For instance, I personally don’t want to live my life having to figure out what it means when god destroys a nation with water. Is the lesson “Don’t kill whales”? Or is it “Nuclear energy is unsafe”? Or ”Haven’t you learned after all these centuries that it is ridiculous to build a nation on an island surrounded by volcanoes and fault lines, and that you therefore can expect to occasionally suffer from earthquakes, which can cause destructive tidal waves”?

      How do I correctly decipher this particular lesson? Whose interpretation is the correct one? It would seem there are too many gods with too many different rules. Do I live in fear of all of them, worrying that one of them might smite me if I break one of the commandments? Or do I simply try to treat others the way I want them to treat me, and do the best I can that way? Would there be fewer such disasters in that kind of world? I don’t know.

      I don’t want to presume to tell Consciousness how to do its job, whatever that may be. (Forgive me, and have a good chuckle with me if that’s the way I’m coming off here.) But if my purpose was to make people understand and stop killing my precious whales, do I really deliver that message best by then destroying so many of my precious humans? For me the answer to that question is no, with all due respect it just doesn’t make sense to me. It is less loving and compassionate than I as a mere human am, and that’s why I honestly can’t accept the premise of Consciousness acting in that way.

      I know I am trying to understand the vastness of Consciousness with my rational mind. And I know you have told me more than once I am thinking too much. I hope I have at least clearly explained the dilemma I am feeling in this matter.


    6. It never has been about lessons. I think it is more a reaction, both in the scientific way, such as the misuse of the planet and other causes problems like pollution (India, China, Korea, where it is suffocating), but also in a moral way. In my view the world does not exist outside of us. The physical reality is us, just as are bodies are created by our minds and the identities we take. The apparent actions we take are a movement in consciousness which causes as reactive movement. Nothing like a God teaching lessons. And I think the reactions are too complex to untangle, just as global heating proved so hard to make many believe.

      We don't know the science of moral causality. I wish we would experiment to find the "rules" if any, but the Ten Commandments probably are a good place to start, with an emphasis on not killing--any sentient being.

    7. Jeff, the lesson to be learned by too much use of fossil fuels and other greenhouse gas generating activity, is that it gets warmer, the climate changes, and the ozone layer disappears. There is no one in heaven writing a screen play to teach mankind to watch greenhouse gases as lessons.

      The whole concept that consciousness teaches lessons through disasters is bizarre, and I hope you didn't get the impression I was saying that.

      I am saying moral activity may have physical ramifications, just as does the generation of greenhouse gases. But it is a long road to provide the causal connections.

      You are confused, therefore you don't want to take a position, so don't. I did not ask you to. Instead, I asked you to watch and be kind and thoughtful.

    8. Dear Edji,
      Thank you for your patient response. I see now that I am still making arguments in my head against my Methodist upbringing, instead of actually responding to what you are offering. Discouraging to think I’m still to some degree viewing life through that old ghost of a mental construct.

      But at least I didn’t need Thor’s hammer to point that one out! Instead just a gentle nudge from you. So perhaps your original proposal for a more gentle society is possible, one that could respond to guidance from Consciousness that was less dramatic than a lightning bolt.

      Blessings to you.

    9. a beautifully made, very informative video.


    10. Lets hope there is enough will and "want to" to bring this and other good ideas into fruition for the good of all! Maybe best through non-privately held companies to support the state budgets(?)