Whaling Today is updated several times a month with articles and essays from cetacean scientists, whaling experts, and other opinion leaders from Japan and around the world. Check this page for the latest content.

Displays highlight both whale biology and Japanese whaling culture

Oshika Whale Land: Tribute to Whales and Whaling, Rebuilt after the Tsunami

Tomiji Saito is the Representative Director of the Ayukawa Town Planning Association, which operates Whale Town Oshika. He was born in Ayukawahama, where he still lives and works today. In July 2020, two momentous events converged to highlight the whaling history of the tiny coastal community of Ayukawa that sits

Killer whale show at Kamogawa Sea World, 2018

Kamogawa Sea World at 50: Building on the past, a new commitment to animal welfare

Hiroshi Katsumata was born in 1962 in Kamogawa City in Chiba Prefecture. He began working at Kamogawa Sea World in 1987, and became Director of Zoological Operations in 2016. He is a former rugby player. Kamogawa Sea World is now celebrating its 50th anniversary. The venue located in Kamogawa in

Truck adorned with messages protesting the dolphin hunts

Storms and Protests During the First Month of Taiji’s Dolphin Hunts, Minus the Foreigners

Jay Alabaster is a Ph.D. student at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism in Arizona State University. He currently lives in Taiji, Japan, where he is working on a book and his dissertation. You can find him on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/alabasterjay. His email is jay.alabaster(at)asu.edu. It’s September again! Perched on

Tablet showing Meiji era whaling

History of Japanese Whaling: Transition to a Modern Whaling Nation

This is the second of a two-part series on the history of Japanese whaling. Part 1: The Birth of Traditional Whaling in Japan Shigeo Nakazono is a scholar and author engaged in the research of cultural assets and sociology, and curator of the Ikitsuki Island Museum (Shima no Yakata) in

History of Japanese Whaling: The Birth of Traditional Whaling in Japan

This is the first of a two-part series on the history of Japanese whaling. Part 2: Transition to a Modern Whaling Nation Shigeo Nakazono is a scholar and author engaged in the research of cultural assets and sociology, and curator of the Ikitsuki Island Museum (Shima no Yakata) in Hirado,

OPINION: 10 Years After ‘The Cove,’ It’s Clear That Activist Harassment, Cultural Invasion of Japan Town Have Backfired

Bunta Iwaya is a conservative blogger who has lived in the U.S. for 15 years. He has investigated issues such as the plastination of human bodies in China, the direct action movement on Free Tibet in Europe and the U.S., issues surrounding the movie ‘The Cove,’ and the arrest and

OPINION: Whaling Criticism is Often Melodramatic Japan-bashing

I have sided with China and North Korea in the past. I was staying at the Friendship Hotel when I taught in Beijing, then suffering from the aftermath of the Tiananmen Square massacre. I heard that their restaurant was going to serve dog meat. As I went to look at

Japan Whaling Guru: Sustainable Whaling Is the Ideal Option

Before his death, Dr. Ohsumi, who served as an honorary advisor to Japan’s Institute of Cetacean Research, spoke passionately about whales in an interview with Yasuo Naito of The Sankei Shimbun and JAPAN Forward, sharing his views on Japan ‘s path forward after withdrawing from the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in

Japan Risks International Legal Trouble As It Resumes Whaling in Its EEZ

Following its withdrawal from the International Whaling Committee (IWC), Japan started having an active commercial whaling industry again starting in July, but only within the country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ). 

Scenes in Kushiro: A Grateful City, a Watching World as Japan Resumes Commercial Whaling

The five whaling boats chugged out into the bumpy waters off of eastern Hokkaido, a tiny armada under gray skies and the gaze of the world.

An Argument for Sustainable Whaling: The Case of Alaska’s Indigenous Peoples

On the surface, the indigenous peoples of Alaska continue to engage in whaling activities without any problems. But in actuality, I believe they face many real problems. To date, Japan has continued to support indigenous whaling within the IWC.

Blanket Ban on Commercial Whaling A Misguided Way of Protecting Species

While they are free to believe that “all whales” should be protected, perhaps what they are actually trying to protect is the fantasy of the symbolic wild animal. If they genuinely intend to protect “endangered species,” then the actions required to do so do not involve a ban on whaling. Science is meant to be utilized to solve real-life problems, not fantasies.

Untangling the Myth Behind the Whaling Controversy: A Director’s Take

I still remember the taste of hard-to-swallow fried whale meat served in Japanese school lunches. I have no nostalgia for it, but when I come across news that “Japan is doing it again” — committing supposed whale-hunting atrocities — the taste comes back.

Don’t Let the Anti-Whaling Zealots Impose Their Hypocrisy on Japan

The decision to withdraw from the IWC offers Japan a golden opportunity to awaken from its postwar illusions about international organizations. Undoubtedly, Japan will be bombarded with criticism by the anti-whaling countries and radical environmental groups.