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David @ Tokyo

Perspective from Japan on whaling and whale meat, a spot of gourmet news, and monthly updates of whale meat stockpile statistics



Whaling related news from Hokkaido

One of Japan's coastal whaling communities lies on the remote northeast coast of Japan's northern most main island of Hokkaido, in the town of Abashiri. Not far, on the opposite southern east coast of the island is the town of Kushiro (which we often see in the whale meat stockpile statistics).

Some news articles appeared out of these towns in the Japanese news media recently. My translations below, first from Abashiri (Japanese) then from Kushiro:
"Whale cutlets" popular - appearance in Abashiri school lunches (2007/03/06 13:35)

[Abashiri] At the whaling base of Abashiri, fried whale has appeared as "whale cutlets" in the town's school lunches from March, in an effort to convey the "whale food culture" to elementary and junior high school children. It will be provided in all of the town's elementary and junior high schools by the 15th.

Last year, the "Abashiri whale council" of the town's whaling dealers and the town's administration, provided approximately 200 kilograms of minke whale meat from whales taken in the Antarctic whaling research to the town's education board at low cost. This time, the local whaling dealer "Shimomichi Suisan" is frying the meat and preparing it at each school.

On the first day, Yoshiichi Shimomichi, the head of Shimomichi Suisan visited Abashiri south elementary, and spoke to the children. "Whales were protected to conserve them, but now whales are increasing, and the fish which they feed on are decreasing. We need to conserve whale food culture, not just protect whales", he said.

Without much delay, the children had their cheeks full with whale cutlets, saying it was "tasty" with a apparent satisfaction. Elementary year 2 student Kana Hatakeyama looked pleased, saying "I was looking forward to it. It's soft and tasty. Maybe I like it more than normal cutlets". (Mika Kobayashi)
Shimomichi Suisan has a small spot on the web here. Shimomichi-san is also apparently one of a small group of coastal whalers still operating under tight conditions. There is a picture of Shimomichi-san at the e-kujira portal tucking into a whale meat dish. He is also quoted in a 2005 Hokkaido Yomiuri article (Japanese) as vowing to continue his efforts to pass on the whale food culture to children. In an even older article (Japanese) he calls for the setting of a minke quota. He also had a paper published in "The 11th International Abashiri Symposium: Development and Northern Peoples".

A busy and driven man.

From Kushiro:
Using industry assets for tourism - Kushiro subprefecture to hold forum on the 6th (2007/03/01 14:14)

A "Kushiro industry assets forum" will be held at the Kushiro Life-long Learning Center on the 6th from 1:30pm. The purpose is to consider the possibility of using Kushiro's industry assets as new tourism resources. There are plans to utilise valuable historical industrial assets such as the coal quarries, railroads, and the remains of whaling bases which supported Hokkaido's modernization and regional economy.

At the forum, representatives will give presentations on 18 "Kushiro industry assets" selected by the subprefecture. The keynote speech will be from Hideki Arai, chief of lodging sales at Kushiro Prince Hotel, which in 2006 produced a tour package incorporating visits to the former site of a whaling base with whale dishes ...

It's unfair that these people of remote parts of Hokkaido continue to have their activities limited to reminiscing about the past for reasons that are hardly relevant in the 21st century.

Labels: , , ,

Article from Abashiri:

「くじらカツ」好評 網走の学校給食に登場  2007/03/06 13:35





Article from Kushiro (no longer online):
産業遺産の観光活用法考えよう 釧路支庁が6日にフォーラム   2007/03/01 14:14



デヴィッドさんは クジラの刺身を
試されて おいしいとおっしゃていたけれど
私はクジラの刺身は一寸 血の部分が多いので

くじらカツ も私の家では良く調理します。

業者さんが販売しています。それも一枚 100g 400円程度なのでそれほど高くあり




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