Old style whaling

HOME Dolphins and Whales in Japan Vol. 019

Taiji Town, Wakayama Prefecture

Date taken /Sep, 2015

A statue of a harpooner near the Whale Museum in Taiji. The harpoon is not thrown at the whale, but once in the air. If you throw it directly at the whale, it will only be repelled by the thick skin and fat. The harpooner throws it toward the sky so that the weight of the fall will be absorbed and it will pierce the whale.

Whale bone torii gate. This is a reproduction in 1985 of the torii gate made of whale bones written in Saikaku's "Nihon Eitaigura".

The "Semi Nagare Martyr Monument" of the Meiji era. Old-fashioned whaling is on the verge of extinction before the modern whaling industry of the United States. This impatience led to the pursuit of right whale mothers and their calves, which are not usually touched. "The right whale's maternal love is so strong that it is said, "Never dream of a right whale mother or child. Again, after a struggle with the right whale, they were swallowed by the Kuroshio Current and drifted away, resulting in a catastrophe in which more than 100 people lost their lives.
An information board describing the martyrdom of "Semi Nagare".
Wada's rock gate (Sekimon). The Wada clan is said to be the founder of old-fashioned whaling, but their origins are linked to the Wada clan, which was at the center of power in the Kamakura shogunate along with the Hojo clan during the Kamakura period. During the Kamakura regime, he is said to have started the Wada Rebellion, but was defeated by the Hojo clan and fled to this area. It is said that he later linked up with the Kumano navy and started old-fashioned whaling.
Tomb of Wada Yorimoto
Historically, the founder of old-fashioned whaling was Yorimoto Wada in the early Edo period.
While searching for Yamamimi at Toomyozaki, I comes across the landing site of Kibi no Makibi, one of the ancient envoys to China.
Explanation of Yamami. In Taiji, there were three Yamami (whale watch towers): Tomyo-zaki, Kantori-zaki, and the auxiliary Takatsuka Liaison Office.
Remains of Tomyo-zaki Yamami
The remains of a whaling preparation room at Tomyo-zaki.
Remains of a beacon tower
Restored Yamami Hut at Tomyozaki
Explanation of old-fashioned whaling
The road to Kantor-izaki. It is deformed by the waves.
Yamami(whale watch place) of Kantorizaki
Remains of a beacon tower
Remains of Takatsuka Liaison Office