Friday, March 21, 2008

Sinful Sushi & Nasty Nippon

Not without justification have many of us been outraged at the methods used by Japanese fishermen to kill whales, dolphins and other species of cetaceans, the carcasses of which are cut and processed to stock the sushi bars, restaurants and supermarkets from Sapporo to Kagoshima.

If they ain't slaughtering whales, they're harpooning Greenpeace activists or shouting Banzai, right? Those nasty Nipponese. Yeah, go on - let's tar an entire race with the same brush, swap rationale debate for bar banter and help stoke the feeding frenzy of Japanophobia. Feels so good, doesn't it?

In researching information for previous posts on this subject, I began to wonder if the anti-whaling angst was just another opportunity for some to engage in the traditional sport of Nippon bashing. Examples might range from a throw-away and obviously racist comment on a forum to a much more carefully crafted article such as this one where a prominent Australian journalist manages to make a direct link between Japan's whaling and the attack upon Pearl Harbour. Truly Tora, Tora, Tora.

As always, there's a flip side to the coin and Japanese like this chap here will do his best to reinforce the stereotype that his people are a cruel race, uncaring and insular in the extreme.(I noted that the anti-Australian video on that previous link has been removed from YouTube.)

That there are many Japanese who care passionately about environmental issues is a fact that I believe we tend to overlook.
The Japanese office of the World Wide Fund For Nature's campaign ad (pictured above) made me smile and helped validate, albeit in a small way, that point of view. Look closely in case you didn't spot the visual trick the first time round. It would work well for the Japanese equivalent of Surfers Against Sewage, eh?

So let's keep racism out of the debate and allow people like Sakyo Noda, the Japanese anti-whaling activist, to spread a little enlightenment.

8 comments:

Beach Bum said...

Got far too many ugly Americans for whom driving alone in a huge SUV that gets about five miles to the gallon for me to worry about the Japanese. Been hearing some Japanese bashing from these types who are complete oblivious about the CO2 their tanks are putting out. Makes me wonder if homo sapiens will make it to the 22nd century.

clif said...

it's ironic. there is an international outrage at the culling of kangaroos in Aus. and the local pop'n are all over talk-back radio using the same excuses as the Japanese, who they so loudly condemned regarding the whale hunting.

kangaroo burger with whale oil sauce anyone?

oh the hypocrisy ...

[you kill an animal, you kill an animal, it's not rocket science. "all animals are created equal. some animals are more equal than others"]

Mr Pineapples said...

Get a job

Mr Pineapples said...

What comment moderation? What a pathetic beach-bummer you are !!

Honest-Ta-Gawd - there's us thinking you was a laid back dude, loving life an-all - when all you really are is:

A LITTLE STALIN

Controlling all post to your farty blog.

What a control freak you are !!

Mr Pineapples said...

YOU LITTLE STALIN

Mr Pineapples said...

gOOD GRIEF - Is that you in that stupid little army hat?

You little stalin

Or is it on eof your secret policeman?

Stalin !!

Beach Bum said...

I can take the comparison to Stalin but Im sooo hurt about my hat boo hoo.

Mr Pineapples said...

Mr P takes it all back.

You are okay really - just tryng to pull your tail a bit.

The hat is cool - I asked my grandmother and she says you look good.