Thursday, December 23, 2010

Conspiracy of Silence

We had another awesome day with no death in the Cove!    We hope the Christmas break will begin tomorrow and that the dolphins will not be in danger for at least a week.
Last night I went down to the hot springs by the harbour to soak my feet and look at the moon.   A man approached me and I recognized him because he had spoken to me in the grocery store last week.  He was extremely friendly and I wondered if he knew why I was in Japan.
He said, “Oh yes, I know you are with Sea Shepherd and I have no problem with you and the young people in Japan really like you”.   He went on to say that dolphins are extremely intelligent and that he wished they would stop killing dolphins in Taiji and that many people in Taiji felt the same, but did not feel comfortable expressing their objection to the dolphin slaughter. 
This man was retired and he had lived and worked in Taiji. He told me his name, but asked that I not repeat it because he feared recriminations. What a shame.   He was an articulate professional, but he could not publicly express his opinion on the most important political, social, environmental, and economic issue in Taiji.     
Why the silence?
Two weeks ago, we were having lunch and there was a group of teenage boys at the next table.  I expected them to be too self-absorbed to notice us, or if they did, they would think the women wearing Sea Shepherd clothing were weird.  I quickly learned I had misjudged them.  We were rebels with a cause and I could tell they thought it was cool that they saw us.   
Change in any society takes time, but for the tuna, whales, and dolphins, time is running out. I am encouraged that younger people have made lifestyle changes and are prepared to voice their opinions, but the conspiracy of silence in Japan has lasted too long and it is deafeningly silent.  
For the Oceans,

Tunnel in Taiji

Tunnel in Taiji


  1. Nice post, Janice. This is exactly the topic I'm going to cover in my update tonight. Nicole and I had a guy about my age stop us in the street tonight and tell us that he is against the dolphin slaughter. There's a lot them out there that are but like you said, are too afraid to speak out. I like your photos of the tunnel, by the way:)

  2. I live in Japan for many years, during all this time I've seen Japanese who do not complain, do not protest, and not claim they are not happy. The education of the Japanese people have a basis in the patience, the determination in the daily effort and silence, the latter is a frequent feature of this people. So one of the most intolerable attitude of the Japanese is suicide. Because of the silence, because they can not speak what they feel, they kill themselves!!
    Death is for them to end the suffering of being unable to talk, I know that many Japanese are educated to accept the ideas of their elders, so this battle in Taiji is hard and difficult, any idea which is opposed to the "older" (veterans) will always have a resistance of newer, even if unconscious.

  3. There are ways you can speak. Start a blog under an alias name. You can start a twitter account or a facebook page in the same way. You can say whatever you wish.

    You must ask yourself which you should fear the most: consequences for speaking out and doing something or … consequences for not speaking out and doing nothing.