I live in Prince Edward Island and those who are familiar with this idyllic place will be aware the Island is famous for a larger than life fictional character, Anne Shirley, otherwise known as Anne of Green Gables, the red-headed, freckled orphan who is a central character in several novels written by Lucy Maud Montgomery.
Anne was a free-speaking, free-spirited, intelligent girl. She excelled at school, challenged authority, and stood up for herself when bullied and teased. She was spellbound by the wonder of nature.
This fictional character has fascinated the people of Japan, and young women in particular, for over fifty years.
In Japan Anne has become a national obsession. Since 1952, Anne of Green Gables has been required reading in Japan's public schools, and thousands of Japanese fans travel to Prince Edward Island each year to visit and even get married in Anne-themed ceremonies. Source: http://archives.cbc.ca/arts_entertainment/literature/clips/11213/
This is all so strange.
Why are people in Japan afraid to challenge authority? How can young Japanese women be so inspired by Anne and her story, but not challenge bullies? We know that many Japanese people do not support the brutal slaughter of dolphins in Taiji, but they say nothing.
If Anne were a real person, she would be marching into the office of Mr. Kazutaka Sangen, Town Mayor of Taiji, with her red hair flying in the wind, demanding the dolphin hunt be stopped.
Anne was very connected to and moved by the beauty of nature. The dolphins are part of nature and one day the people of Taiji will know that everyone in Taiji could live more prosperous lives if the killing stops. Dolphins that are swimming freely in the ocean, being admired by tourists from around the world have great value. All business could prosper, not just a handful of thugs.
Despite the controversy Anne caused, she was loved, respected, and eventually won the hearts of everyone in her community.
I wish the Japanese people would challenge authority, the Mayor, and the dolphin killers of Taiji.
For the Oceans,