Japanese whaling

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This chapter adopts the broadest meaning for the term Japanese whaling to include activities of hunting any cetaceans in Japanese territory, by Japanese companies, or by any companies known to be sponsored by them. Numerous bones of gregarious dolphins in a site of the Jomon Era (10,000 bp-3200 bc) on the Noto coasts, Sea of Japan, suggest the presence of a drive fishery. Other sites of similar antiquity on the Pacific coasts of central and northern Japan and on the coasts of northern Kyushu facing the Sea of Japan/East China Sea revealed remains of small cetaceans and detachable harpoon heads. The Okhotsk Sea culture of Hokkaido in the fifth to fourteenth centuries left skeletons, harpoons, and drawings depicting whale harpooning. Harpooning whales that are found in a harbor could have taken place widely. Records of such takes in a harbor at Ine, Sea of Japan, included 167 humpback, 148 fin (. Balaenoptera physalus), and 40 right whales in the period 1656-1913. A village next to Ine took small cetaceans in the same way. A similar fishery was also recorded in the fourteenth century at villages on Tsushima Island, off northern Kyushu. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.




Kasuya, T. (2009). Japanese whaling. In Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals (pp. 643–649). Elsevier Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-373553-9.00148-6

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