Let's defend our food culture! Moves to revive whale in school lunches / YamaguchiThis is interesting information, as this article puts the annual volume of whale meat for school lunches at 160 tonnes (although increasing by 20%), making this an almost insignificant part of the whale meat market in Japan. As the article suggests, there is significance in that whale meat in school lunches is a useful vehicle for regions to pass on regional whale food cuisine to their future generations.
Whale meat is starting to be revived in school lunches in regions where whaling once flourished. Whale meat was representative of school provided lunches during Japan's period of high growth, but had disappeared with the cessation of commercial whaling in 1988. Against the backdrop of no advance in international acceptance for a resumption of commercial whaling, and whale food culture waning even in areas associated with whaling, there is a sense of crisis towards the waning interest in whales.
"The meat seemed hard... but when I tried it it was delicious". On the 8th at Furukawa middle school in Nagato city, Yamaguchi prefecture, whale tatsuta-age appeared on the school lunch menu. Since February the city has been reviving whale in all municipal elementary and middle schools, using whale about twice a year. This was the second time at Furukawa. Opportunities to eat whale in the households of even Nagato city, which flourished with whaling, have declined. Whale is a foodstuff to which students here are unaccustomed, but they carried the whale meat to their mouths with relish.
Nagato city moved to utilise whale in school lunches following the inauguration of the "Nagato Ootsu association for the preservation of whale food culture", which started in 2002 when the annual IWC meeting was held in the neighbouring city of Shimonoseki. Nagato city and other Japan-sea coastal areas in Yamaguchi prefecture flourished with old-style whaling during the Edo period, and whales were deeply associated with everyday life. Whale graves and whale song traditions have been inherited since this time, and a local speciality dish, "Nanban-ni" of whale meat stewed together with burdock remains.
However, with the cessation in commercial whaling, whale meat in circulation was reduced to just a fraction from whales taken in research whaling, and the culture connected with whales has waned. "It's become very difficult to eat in in the home, and housewives no longer know how to prepare a whale meat meal. If we don't proactively put whale meat in school lunches and so forth, even if whaling were resumed, the food culture itself will be gone" says Fuminori Fujii, the curator of the Nagato city's whale museum who also serves as the secretary of the "whale food culture preservation association".
On the 8th at the home economics class prior to lunch, when Furukawa middle school's nutritionist, Kieko Koike and others proposed to a Year 1 class of 28 students "making a different kind of food with today's ingredients", there were no students that imagined food using whale. "The children probably aren't familiar with it", remarked Koike.
This sense of crisis is what is behind moves in recent years to revive whale in school lunches in various regions. In Nagato, it was 30 years since whale meat had been used in school lunches. "Kujira-jaga" and tatsuta-age appeared on menus. The number of schools in Hokkaido, Wakayama and Hyogo using whale in school lunches is on the rise.
Tokyo's Institute of Cetacean Research, which conducts research whaling and other activities sells whale meat destined for use in school lunches at one third of the normal price. According to the institute, in the last fiscal year approximately 160 tonnes of whale meat was used in school lunches, and this volume has been increasing at around 20% each year.
The whale tatsuta-age that appeared at Furukawa middle school on the 8th was gobbled up with most students leaving none left over. "It was good because I don't often have the chance to eat it", was how Year 3 student Yuuki Matsubayashi (14) reflected on the meal. "People who grew up without eating whale are the parental generation now," says Curator Fujii. "If the children eat it, parents too will come to eat it, and this will raise their interest in whales", he hopes.
Labels: whale meat school lunches
"Minister Smith expressed his concern about Japan's research whaling, and said that they would like us to stop it. I explained to him that research whaling is perfectly legal. At the same time, we had a request from IWC Chair Hogarth, who said "I want to fix the IWC which is not fulfilling it's function. I want Japan, which is the vice-chair, to cooperate. I want Japan to reconsider it's hunting of humpback whales for as long as we are making efforts to fix the IWC". And because of this I relayed to Minister Smith that Japan "as the vice-chair wishes to cooperate in fixing the IWC. And regarding chair Hogarth's request about humpback whales, Japan has determined to postpone the hunt of humpback whales while it's judged that the IWC is making moves towards normalization."While Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura denied that the decision was made out of consideration for Australia's recent complaints on the matter, Japanese news reports and general response in certain internet discussion forums have seen speculation that this move was a "cave in" to anti-whaling protest, particularly from Australia which had announced it would send a patrol vessel to monitor the Japanese research whaling fleet.
"Chair Hogarth was thinking this could be for 1 to 2 years, but as for the Japanese government, it means the period of time during which the Japanese government judges that progress is being made towards normalization. If we are able to judge that there is no progress at all, then it means we will have a different situation".
"It is an extremely good decision. It will bring a better atmosphere to future discussions".However, in Japan the leading fisheries newspaper, the Minato Shinbun suggests that the move is a part of Japan's "last try" to normalize the IWC.
"The chair country (USA) and Japan which is the vice-chair agreed to postpone the catch. The aim is to alleviated the heightened tensions that prevail amongst various governments at the current time".
Labels: IWC Normalization
11-metre whale caught in set net - Iwaizumi townAnother article notes the Miyagi buyer was a marine products processor, and the whale was cut up at the market. The ICR was also quoted again, noting that fin whales are found throughout the world, but are rarely landed in Japan. Most whales landed off the coast of Iwate are apparently minke whales, and they tend to be caught off the Ofunato coast, in the south of Iwate (Miyako city is further north). A Miyako market related person said that usually they will only see about 1 whale a year there, and was surprised to see such a large one come in.
A huge baleen whale measuring 10.75 metres in length was found caught in a set net belonging to the Komoto bay fisheries cooperative of Iwaizumi town on the morning of the 17th. It took all of 27 set net fishermen to bind the whale to a boat and bring it back to shore, where it was landed by a large truck at the Miyako market.
According to the set net's lead fisherman, Ichiro Miura (42), when the salmon set net was checked at around 9 A.M., a whale was found entangled in it, already limp.
After receiving notification from prefectural authorities, the Institute of Cetacean Research (Tokyo) investigated and advised that the whale was a large fin whale, which can grow up to 20 metres. As for whales entangled in set nets which can not be set free, except in the case of specially designated species, it is possible to sell whale carcases under Ministry of Agriculture, Forests and Fisheries law. This whale too was quickly put to auction as soon as necessary procedures, including the preservation of a sample from the whale's fin for DNA examination, were completed.
With fin whales falling in the "high-class item" category amongst whale species, a Miyagi prefecture dealer bought the whale for 7,000,000 yen. Even the initially sober faced Miura, who had been lamenting the ruin of his net, said "Great, I got a bonus", after fetching the unexpectedly high price.
Whale meat imports "waiting for Japan's response" - Norwegian ambassador to Japan hopes for recommencement after 19 yearsAs for circumstances abroad, apparently a Norwegian whalers union recently called upon it's government to cease co-operation with Japan on whaling issues until the issue of trade access is resolved.
Norway's Ambassador to Japan, Åge Grutle, made it known that his country is proceeding with negotiations with the government regarding Norway's desire for Japan to import meat from whales caught there. The Ambassador stated that "Norway wants to resume exports next year. We are waiting for Japan's response". It would be the first time since 1989 if Japan does resume whale meat trade with Norway.
Regarding whale meat imports, Japan is also considering a trade resumption with Iceland, with which the trade had continued up until 1991. There is said to be no problem with whale meat trade with respect to the Washington Treaty (CITES). Japan is also hoping to strengthen ties with nations that support whaling through the trade resumption. However, as there would be an inevitable response from western anti-whaling nations, the Fisheries Agency "wishes to carefully observe the circumstances both at home and abroad" (far seas fisheries division), and is taking a cautious approach towards making the final decision.
The first day at the "Refined Hometown" roadside station Ichinomaki citizens form long linesHere we are only talking about a relatively insignificant amount of whale meat (several tonnes). The Ishinomaki area currently has the largest amount of whale meat in Japan, and saw more than 200 tonnes leaving storage there in October.
Ishinomaki's "winter whale meat distribution event" started on the 8th. The first day was held at the "Refined Hometown" roadside station, and many residents formed lines in advance of the 10AM start to sales.
Frozen minke whale meat, a by-product of research whaling, was distributed at the bargain price of 2,300 yen per 900 grams. 500 units were prepared for the first day, but had completely sold out in around 30 minutes. Again at the same station on the 9th, a further 600 units, 100 more than scheduled, will be distributed.
According to municipal authorities, interest in whale cuisine has heightened amongst city residents following the first ever "Whale Forum 2007" event that was held in Ishinomaki city in July, and the response to the distribution event was excellent.
Again on the 23rd from 6:30 AM at an early-morning market at the station square 100 more units will be available, and on the same day from 9:00 AM until noon 1,200 units will be prepared at the Ishinomaki city ultra-low temperature cold storage facility. Back at the roadside station, another 500 units are scheduled to be distributed on the 29th from 9:00 AM at the "Misoka market".
The city's marine resource section says "This year we secured an extra 1.1 tonnes, or 20% more whale meat for distribution than last year. We hope that many city residents will try it, and will continue to work to spread whale cuisine food culture"
Labels: stockpile figures
$ sudo aptitude install scim scim-anthyThis part is of course the same, get scim and scim-anthy to get what you need (aptitude may pull im-switch here too, even though it's not actually needed, as we see below).
$ rm -f ~/.xinput.d; sudo aptitude purge im-switch9) Restart X, and you will have E17 running scim for you on start up.
$ sudo aptitude install scim scim-anthyThis gets a bunch of other package dependencies including im-switch. This package was apparently introduced so that users wouldn't need to futz around with their .xsession file or whatever to get their CJK input methods working.
$ echo $LANGYeah, en_US is fine, you don't need to use ja_JP.UTF-8 to get your Japanese working. UTF-8 is good.
$ im-switch -cWell it seems like we get a menu like this. Typing "3" here to select scim seems to do the trick.
There are 5 candidates which provide IM for /home/david/.xinput.d/en_US:
+ 1 default
System wide default for en_US (or all_ALL) locale is marked with [+].
Press enter to keep the current selection[*], or type selection number:
$ ls -lgWow, going round in circles aren't we, but if we take a look inside the file that this sym-link points to, it contains env vars like this:
lrwxrwxrwx 1 david 28 2007-12-06 23:32 en_US -> /etc/X11/xinit/xinput.d/scim
XIM=SCIMIf you look at the bottom of the /etc/X11/Xsession.d/80im-switch that picked up this config file, it shows that the value specified in XIM_PROGRAM is executed. All this happens when X is starting up. Passing -d to scim makes it run as a daemon apparently, and sure enough:
$ ps -ef | grep scim... well, you get the picture, scim has been started up for us by X. Yay.
$ scim-setupThis seems just fine for everyday use now.
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