Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Japan and Whales

The Taiji Whale Museum in Wakayama is a mystery in itself.

It was the Tan Tans' first visit to a whale museum and it was insightful, educational but yet strange and confusing. Why? hmm... read on.

The place comprises a museum, an aquarium, a underwater world etc.

There, the Tan Tans and their friends were treated to Dolphin and Whale shows. The same stuff one would get at Dolphin Lagoon in Sentosa.

This performance showcases a combination of short-finned pilot whales, risso dolphins and false killer whales.

And have you ever wondered how whales sound??

And yes, this are the standard bottlenose dolphins that everyone loves.

Oh. I believe everyone knows "Willy".

Don't worry the sea lion on the left is taking a nap and not dead.

Next was the exhibition area where the Tan Tans learnt about the giant mammals of the sea.

It was educational as the Tan Tans walked through the exhibition halls where different parts of the whales are being displayed.

That's the tongue of the whale and this pic on the right shows the food that the whale consume including the giant squid!

Yes, this is the Ass and the Balls of a Whale so do not fool around with them. Either their fart will blow you away or the balls will flatten you.

And these are the various stages of the whale's foetus development.

These are the gills and the one on the right is... you guessed it... the penis...

This is an exact replica of the ancient ship that the Japanese used for whaling in 15th century.

Look at the bright red thongs they are wearing...

And this is the more advanced 16th-17th century whaling. In fact, the people who built this museum seem to be pretty proud of their heritage and advancements in whaling through the centuries. Tools and methodologies were well depicted through the exhibits.

Comparing myself to the height of a typical bottlenose dolphin.. not too bad right?

And of cos, the Tan Tans took the chance to have some photos taken too!

But come to think about it. What is the intention of this whale museum?

Is it to educate the public on whale conservation? Is it just as a theme park for the greedy business men's pockets?

Frankly speaking, I do not really have a clear idea.

I would say the mammals aren't kept in an ideal environment.

2 to 3 dolphins are kept in every sector.

The square in the middle of the pic also kept 2-3 dolphins.

And also, after all the educational stuff and show on the whales and dophins, guess what we found in the souvenir shop?

The top left pic shows frozen whale meat, the top right, canned whale meat and the bottom two, curry whale.

Yes, whales are considered a delicacy in some parts of Japan - Wakayama for sure, it seems. Along the way we saw many, many restaurants serving whale (kujira) cuisine in all forms - from the kujira sashimi to the kujira ramen to kushi kujira (skewered whale meat).


I can only say this is a strange relationship between Japan and whales.


WZ said...

Mm.. i feel that it is kind of inappropriate to sell whale food there. I definitely feel rather sorry for the whales.

Erik Tan said...

me too.. which was why i could not really understand the relation between the japanese and whales. But come to think about it again, you go pig farm, they also sell pork..