Days like these

When I signed up for this campaign I knew it wasn’t going to be a picnic. In fact I prepared as best as I could for the difficult situations I would find myself in. Who wants to spend hard earned money to watch dolphins get slaughter? Certainly not I, but I knew I could contribute and it was something I just had to do. I just wasn’t ready for the backlash from people I had considered friends.
That is how my morning began. Up with the sun and anxious to see what Andy and Nicole,  who stayed up most of the night editing footage of the crazy trip following the Taiji Three. By the way Andy had given them the names of Bob, Steve, and Godzilla! I will not repeat what happened but it is over now and I can move on. To the cove. I just prayed that the boats were in today but alas they were not. Darn! Up to the lookout point and it wasn’t long before the banger boats appeared on the horizon. Yes they had a pod. Here come the skiff boats which carry the nets used to coral the dolphins into the killing cove. Jared and I took off to Glenda’s mountaintop, ugh I hate those stairs, but up we went. I still had my sailing bibs on so I was pealing clothes off like a mad woman once I reach the top. We could see they had a new tarp. It seems the dolphin hunters check out our video blogs and pictures and adjust accordingly. Guess they didn’t like the photo’s of blood escaping from the killing cove so they just added another tarp to hide it. But we filmed anyway. As always Jared and I each had a shadow.
You get used to it after awhile but you are always aware. At this point I’d like to say something. We are not here to harass, yell, cut nets, antagonize or anything else but film and document. I respect the Japanese culture and am always nice to the guards and police, and most of them are (ah hum) nice back. The lovely town of Katsuura, where we stay, is just awesome and we are welcomed wherever we go, however, always mindful of our surroundings. It is a beautiful country filled with polite, kind, and gentle people, excluding of course those 26 fisherman in Taiji. I realize, also, that change must come from within Japan and that it will not come from some westerner screaming at a fisherman to stop doing what he has done his whole life, no matter how much I disagree with it. The problem is, the people of Japan are unaware of what is happening in Taiji, and that is where my work here comes into play.  Slowly we are seeing more and more Japanese people come to check it out for themselves. Today, after the slaughter was over, as we sat at the edge of the cove reflecting, a man from Tokyo approached us. “Sea Shepherd?” he asked…yes…and we started talking in his broken English and Nicole’s broken Japanese. I could see in his eyes he was not proud of what his fellow countrymen were doing but did not want to say anything. We invited him to join us tomorrow. We shall see if he returns. This is not the first time I have met Japanese who have traveled from long distances to come and see what was happening so in my mind, I believe progress is being made.  The media ban on all sotries relating to the slaughter might still be in effect, but they cannot ban YouTube, YET.  I will return to Japan next year and the year after if I must, until this slaughter ends. I just hope for the dolphins it ends sooner than later. Today, again, the cove ran red with blood and again today I was there to witness.


5 responses to “Days like these

  1. Hey,

    Ok, I am glad you recognize that it is the Japanese people who will end this practice. Actually, the same is true with whaling. The Sea Shepards campaign on that front is an obvious fail. If we are blunt about outcomes being important, we should be blunt about when they are failures. Sheri, the work you are doing is very important, but again, the Japanese people are the ones who will end this.

    The Japanese people have a long, honorable, proud history of tradition. Tradition that is often closely connected in a spiritual way with the natural world (the Shinto religion is fascinating in this regard). It doesn’t surprise me that there may once have been a tradition of subsistence hunting of whales and dolphins by the indigenous populations of this area. These 26 men are cynically using that history to defend their bank accounts. In reality, what they are doing with their diesel-powered, million-dollar fish boats, hydraulics, polluting engines, and all the rest of the factory-fishing technology, has as much to do with that indigenous tradition as some schmoe stamping out “samurai” swords in some factory in Beijing has with the venerated, swordsmith masters. What these factory-dolphin killers are doing isn’t “upholding” their traditons, it is dishonoring it, perverting it, putrifying it and smearing it all over with blood. And they are doing it merely to fatten their wallets.

    Once the Japanese people get hipped to this, explained in a way that they acknowledge, action will happen.

    • Herb, Thank you for your input. While we may not agree on all of Sea Shepherd tactics, especially when it comes to the Southern Ocean, I have to say that so far this year they have been very successful in shutting down the “Research Whaling” and have thus far limited the number of whales destroyed to virtually nothing. The campaign here in Taiji is a completely different campaign than the one undertaken in the southern ocean and I will remain focused on Taiji and this issue and continue to support and wear my Sea Shepherd colors on the ground here with pride. I am among an amazing group of volunteers!

  2. Hey, we good girl. Keep bringing the Irish!

    What this campaign needs is 50 Irish mums to take it to these guys.

  3. Thank you for the updates Sheri…I know this is a very painful journey for you and I hope you keep in your heart that you are an inspiration to those of us who want to help…Godspeed.

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