Home > Blog > The Taiji Dolphins (Feedback)

January 31st, 2014 | Author: David

The Taiji Dolphins (Feedback)

Thanks for all your comments on this very difficult topic. As I said, I had a suspicion that most Japanese people were not aware of how much of a stir this story causes in other countries, so I’m glad I was able bring it to your attention.

Although I understand the logical argument that killing dolphins is the same as killing any other animal, the problem with this issue is that it is based more on emotion than logic. In public relation terms, killing dolphins is akin to murdering Bambi or torturing Kitty Chan!

Whatever you believe about the rights and wrongs of the dolphin hunt, the fact is that it has a hugely negative impact on Japan’s international image. One of the problems is that whenever Japan is criticised by foreigners, there are some Japanese people who feel that the best way to respond is by defending Japan’s “traditions” and “culture” at any cost. This leads to situations like we have with the whale-hunting business, which is supported by the government and some right-wing organisations even though it loses huge amounts of money every year and produces meat that most Japanese people don’t even want to eat.

I suppose Japan has to choose between having a good international image and defending its traditions. One thing I am sure of is that no matter how many logical arguments you put forward, they are not going to have much effect in a debate as emotional as this one.

Here is some feedback on your comments.

so the meat might sell more expensive than other fish
… might be more expensive / … might sell for a higher price

I don’t think Taiji fishermen can’t make a living without hunting dolphins
I don’t think that hunting dolphins is essential to the fishermen’s livelihoods.

Ms. Kennedy calls it ‘inhuman’
Did she call it “inhuman” or “inhumane”? Those words have quite different meanings.

I think even pigs and cows have emotion
Pigs are said to be one of the closest relatives to humans. So close, in fact, that it is possible to transplant their organs into a human body!

but has it been reported in Japanese papers, too? Have I skipped them?
“Skipping” would be intentional. The word you need here is “missed.”

I wonder where on earth dolphin meat is sold here.
I’ve heard that it is usually labelled as whale meat.

I don’t think you’ll make much money with cattles
“Cattle” is a plural form, so you don’t need the “s.”

Wiki also says that they hadn’t hidden anything before the film
Wiki also says that they didn’t use to hide anything before the film

It’s a rare menu
It’s rare for whale meat to be on the menu (the food itself cannot be a “menu.”)

so why only catching dolphins and whales are condemned?
so why is it that only catching dolphins and whales is condemned?

However, the truth is that the Taiji fishermen are gaining a huge amount of money(about 170 million yen in 2011)
Wow! I can see why they wouldn’t want to give that up!

Hi, this is my first coment here.
If anyone else is thinking of posting a comment for the first time, this is the sentence you need.

There is not much population
The population is quite small / There are not many people

Concerning this issue, Japanese newspaper didn’t seem to spare much space nor did on TV.
This issue did not seem to get much attention in Japanese newspapers or on Japanese TV.

As for your questions,I don’t think people in Japan don’t pay attention to this as(like?) people in other countries do.
… I don’t think people in Japan care as much about this as people in other countries do.

It’s also a real pity because while some people in other countries see what is happening in a very small town in Japan and have strong feelings against it, some(or perhaps many?) Japanese people(including me!) don’t really know about it.
That is precisely why I wanted to write about it here.

Finally…my electricity bill for last month exceeded 20,000yen! (21,284 yen)
I wonder how long it will be before it exceeds 30,000 yen?! (Not because you use more, but because the price is going to keep going up and up.)

That’s it for today. Have a great weekend.

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Comments

  1. Megumi
    Commented on
    2014/01/31 at 11:08

    Hi David and everyone,

    It was wonderful experience to share my opinion to your blog. I found this blog when I was looking for some contents I can learn English. Thank you very much for your feedback. Honestly speaking, I love dolphins and wheals because they are adorable but I can eat wheals’ bacon or meat if I have a chance. It is like I can eat fish, pork,beef or chicken because I’m not vegetarian. Though I don’t think we Japanese need to eat dolphins or wheals daily, we have to think about that we should keep hunting them further more for traditional reasons.

  2. Kattie
    Commented on
    2014/02/01 at 3:32

    Hi Megumi,

    It’s lovely to hear from you, I enjoyed reading your comments.

    Hi Biwa, Yu and everyone,

    I’ve been following your discussion, I didn’t really want to join in too much because I was interested in hearing your thoughts and also because I think I wrote most of my thoughts about this when we discussed whaling a few months ago.

    I really agree with David that this is a highly emotive issue and people’s arguments are not always logical which can be very annoying. I think a lot of Westerners have a very arrogant attitude and will happily criticise other people’s customs without passing judgment on our own.

    I’m not talking about this issue but your discussion made me think about whether we should always place such a high value on logic when arguing a point. I know I sometimes decide what I think about things purely from an emotional point of view – I suppose this is where instinct comes into play – and I don’t necessarily think this is wrong – surely it’s one of the traits which distinguishes us from robots! What do you think?

  3. Biwa
    Commented on
    2014/02/01 at 7:31

    Hi David,

    >One thing I am sure of is that no matter how many logical arguments you put forward, they are not going to have much effect in a debate as emotional as this one.

    Thank you always for your feedback.
    I totally agree with you on this point. At the same time, I think that Japanese people are being a bit too emotional by insisting on “traditional culture,” too. I really hope that both sides try to be more tactful. (I’m looking for the opposite word of “stubborn” but I can’t find it!)

    Hi Kattie,

    Yes, I think I understand exactly what you say. And I guess those traits are the very things that make everyday life interesting and sometimes, troublesome. It’s something that people face every day, every time, and what interests me most is the way each person deals with it.

    Hi YU,

    I’m sure that my English is causing misunderstandings, and I’m really sorry for that. However, I wouldn’t say “I already said this twice” or “何度も言うけど” even in Japanese. I think I tried to respond in a nicer way last time, but this time, I just couldn’t.
    Anyway, I hope we can all have even more interesting discussions from next week.

    Have a nice weekend, everyone!

  4. YU
    Commented on
    2014/02/01 at 9:31

    Hi David,

    Thank you always for your feedback.

    > Did she call it “inhuman” or “inhumane”? Those words have quite different meanings.

    Sorry, it was “inhumane”.

    > I’ve heard that it is usually labelled as whale meat.

    I’ve heard that it is just a false rumor.
    I don’t know who tells the truth, though, what is the merits for Japanese people to sell dolphin meat labelled as whale meat in the first place.?! We would be criticized, anyway.

    I think one of the reasons why Japanese people are not really aware of this issue is that we’ve been accustomed to the criticism. I guess most Japanese people must have been felt “Ah, again!” hearing the Taiji dolphin’s case this time. To be honest, I felt so too because I knew that both side would make the same usual arguments.

    Hi Kattie,

    Thank you for your advice.
    I think you’re right.

    By the way, I feel very sorry for people in Taiji town because the media and the anti-whaling groups have been spreading everything regardless whether it’s true or not to the world and I read because of that Taiji people are bashed on the net and even called “Japanese mafia”. So, I understand I shouldn’t talk about things only from logical point of view, but I simply feel they’re going too far.

  5. YU
    Commented on
    2014/02/01 at 10:21

    Hi Biwa,

    Thank you for your comment.

    I have no intention of having a catfight with you. Because you started it first, I just wanted you to know you actually do the same to me sometimes, but it seems to have ended up adding fuel to the flames.

    I don’t really think we can have interesting discussions after this. At least for me it got difficult now.

    I’ll try to pay attention not to harm your feelings too, but it is a bit too much for me. To tell the truth, I sometimes even feel you just don’t want to agree with me because you don’t like me. It might be just because we have almost always different opinions by chance, but do you realize that your second sentences for my comments almost always start with “However,”? I know it’s just my imagination, but it always makes me feel uneasy.

    Anyway, I’ll leave this blog for a while. For some reason, I’m taking a long leave from work, so I’ll enjoy my holidays with my family and friends for a short time. I’ll read the blog from time to time and come back when I’m ready again(おそらく春).

    See you!

  6. Anne
    Commented on
    2014/02/01 at 10:31

    Hi David,

    Thank you for your feedback.
    >it is based more on emotion than logic
    —I understand what you mean and agree with you.
    That’s why I had mixed feelings. To be honest, I’m not meaning to say I personally support the government decision. Having said that, as you mentioned, when people in other countries criticize the government’s decision, should Japan give up dolphin hunting? That’s what I’ve been thinking this week. This is also in the case of Takeshima and Yasukuni.

    Hi Kattie,
    Your comment is what I wanted to say. There are a lot of things you can’t decide yes or not(right or wrong), and that makes your life more rich or deep. It sometimes makes you depressed. Anyway, while discussing this issue from the emotion point of view, I wonder why people don’t pay attention other cruelty or other cases for animal killings. Once the discussion starts, it might be endless…,though.

    Hi YU,
    >I simply feel they’re going too far
    —Yes, I agree with you.
    I feel sorry for the people in Taiji too.
    A lot of medias and activists including Sea Shepherd rush to Taiji and report huntings and other things this time of year. They might think it as the right thing, but it sounds like a kind of invasion for me.

    Have a lovely weekend, everyone

  7. Fumie
    Commented on
    2014/02/01 at 10:34

    Hi David,

    Thank you always for your feedback!

    Hi Megumi,

    Nice to have you with us and thank you for sharing your thought. Please join us again!

    Have a lovely weekend, everyone!

  8. Biwa
    Commented on
    2014/02/02 at 9:27

    Hi David,

    I’m sorry for messing up your blog.
    I hope this is a place where we share our thoughts instead of trying to convince each other to think similarly.

  9. YU
    Commented on
    2014/02/02 at 10:10

    Hi Biwa,

    I’m afraid I don’t think I wrote things like that.
    I wonder why you like to take my words in the warped way, though, I don’t feel like clarifying it now or writing something here any more. You can write anything you like about me. I won’t comment on it any more. I’m so exhausted.

    Thank you.

    Hi David and everyone,

    I’m very sorry for everything.
    本当にこんな事になってしまってすみません。
    皆さんを嫌な気分にさせてしまい、申し訳なく思っています。
    I hope you all will enjoy discussing various things here the same as always!
    I’ll hibanate from today. :-)

    See you!

  10. Kattie
    Commented on
    2014/02/02 at 10:18

    Hi Biwa and Yu,

    I thought your discussion was very interesting, I don’t think you should be put off from expressing your opinions.

    Discussing things in writing has advantages because you have time to think about things but the disadvantages are that it’s sometimes difficult to convey the right tone and also if you were discussing things in person you would have the chance to diffuse things quickly, if necessary.

    Please carry on, I like a good discussion and I’m sure other blog members do too. I definitely don’t think you have been ‘messing up’ David’s blog.

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend. Today has been a bit annoying because we were supposed to exchange contracts on our house (finally) yesterday and it didn’t happen, the weather is horrible and our naughty dog ate our dinner which was a really nice salmon and asparagus quiche! On the plus side, I have been enjoying my first glass of wine for a month.

  11. YU
    Commented on
    2014/02/02 at 10:47

    Hi Kattie,

    Thank you for your kind message.
    I didn’t intend to write comments for a while, though….

    Please don’t worry too much. I didn’t mean to stop writing here forever, I just thought it’s better for both Biwa and I(and maybe for other members here too) to have “a cool down period”. I always respect Biwa for her intelligence and inquiring mind.

    By the way, I don’t know why you couldn’t exchange contracts yesterday, though, I hope everything will go well next time!

    Have a nice weekend!

  12. Biwa
    Commented on
    2014/02/02 at 11:31

    Hi YU,

    >To tell the truth, I sometimes even feel you just don’t want to agree with me because you don’t like me.

    If you’re still there, please think how I felt reading your comment. I couldn’t belive it. Why on earth should I comment based on my likes and dislikes about the person??

    You said my usage of “however” made you feel uneasy. I’m not sure which ones you are particularly talking about, but what other word should I use when I want to add a different opinion from yours? I think other people use “however” as well, but I don’t really get why only mine makes you feel uneasy. If there is a particular reason, I’d strongly like to know.

  13. Anne
    Commented on
    2014/02/02 at 3:55

    Hi YU and Biwa,

    >I definitely don’t think you have been ‘messing up’ David’s blog.—I 100% agree with this Kattie’s comment. I always admire with both of your high level English and your devotion. Sadly, I can’t do that way like you do even though I want to do.

    Hi Kattie,
    >On the plus side, I have been enjoying my first glass of wine for a month.–That must be tasty and good. Hope you had a great time with a glass of (or several glasses?) of wine.

    Hi everyone,

    I watched a movie called”The Wolf of Wall Street” today and just got back home. Leonardo Dicaprio played the main character and it’s based on the true story about fraud and corruption on Wall Street. It was impressive and he did a great job!

  14. Tsuneko
    Commented on
    2014/02/02 at 5:11

    Hi Yu,

    I’ve just come back here after my long break and I’d like you not to take a long break, please.

  15. Fumie
    Commented on
    2014/02/02 at 10:19

    Hi YU and Biwa,

    >I’ll hibanate from today. :-)
    - Are you sure? Don’t you even read the blog for a while? If you read the blog at least and you find the topic is really tempting, please write your thoughts!
    BTW, I didn’t notice at all that both of you kind of don’t like each other until a few days ago. I thought both of you were very good friends. Maybe I thought that because of my lack of English.
    うまく伝わらないと心配なので日本語でー YU あまり気にしないで興味のあるトピックがあったら遠慮せずコメント書いてね!
    2人がお互いをよく思ってなかったなんて全く気付かなかったです。むしろすごく良い友達同士と思っていました。だからこの2,3日の2人のコメント見てびっくりでした。目に見えないやりとりだし、まして母国語でないから意図して相手に嫌な思いをさせようとして書いたわけではないのでは?
    そんなんだったら私なんて英語力ないからとても失礼なこと書いているかも?と心配になります!みなさん今まで私のコメントで嫌な思いをさせたことがあったら本当にごめんなさい。

    Hi Kattie,

    Sorry about the contract of your house didn’t happen and your dog ate dinner. Just reading your depiction of your dinner and wine made my mouth water!

  16. David
    Commented on
    2014/02/02 at 11:25

    Hi YU and Biwa,

    I agree with Kattie that this problem has been caused by the difficulty of communicating in writing. I also think the fact that both of you have such a high level of English might be a cause of understanding.

    When I was a beginner in Japanese, it didn’t matter if I said things wrongly because people could easily tell that it was just a mistake. As I got better, however, I noticed that people were less forgiving because the mistakes I made became more subtle, and they naturally assumed that I meant everything exactly the way I said it, which was not always the case. Quite often, I had just chosen inappropriate words or expressions for the situation because of course, I am not a native speaker of the language. I think that the same thing might have happened with both of you. Anyway, I hope you will both keep reading the blog and writing comments.

  17. Kattie
    Commented on
    2014/02/03 at 8:55

    Hi Fumie,

    > Just reading your depiction of your dinner…. made my mouth water!

    Just thinking about my dinner makes my mouth water! Tom posted a picture of Poppy (taken after she’d eaten it) on instagram, she’s lying by the fire looking very fat – she also really looks like she’s smiling – lots of people have commented on it!

    Hi Anne,

    > There are a lot of things you can’t decide yes or not(right or wrong), and that makes your life more rich or deep.
    I absolutely agree!

  18. Biwa
    Commented on
    2014/02/03 at 9:28

    Hi David,

    >Anyway, I hope you will both keep reading the blog and writing comments.

    Thank you for saying that. I’d really like to, as long as everyone doesn’t mind. I can’t express how much I enjoy reading everyone’s comments and learning new things.

    Hi everyone,

    Thank you for your messages, too. :)
    And I’m sorry for disturbing your peaceful weekends!

    I’ve been reading our recent comments over and over again, and came to think that I really tend to lack a good explanation. And that is what my husband sometimes says! (lol!)

    I mean, I really consider if I should really say this or not before I actually say it- because you can never erase your words once you say it- However, because of the too long considering time, I just assume that he understands my intention 100% which he doesn’t at all. Naturally, he receives my sudden words with a great surprise, and you know what happens next…
    I have learned this time that I never really learn things.

  19. Tsuneko
    Commented on
    2014/02/03 at 12:11

    Hi Biwa,

    Yes, I’d like you to keep going. Way to go!