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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Refelctions on my journey into Taiji

Missing some of the friends I made in Taiji-Kii Katsuura. Think of my sweet Japanese friend who came over the night before I went to the Cove at Dawn...she brushed my hair and carefully tied it up in a Japanese bun for the following morning....an unspoken ritual of support...and so I showed up at Dawn looking six feet tall, feeling like a Samurai woman.

My Kung-Fu master's teachings has been very helpful, something which has also helped me in my sport of fencing and a life philosophy I carry in my heart and mind. It has taught me about following my senses and changing my tactics. When an opponent becomes the sea...you become a mountain....when your opponent becomes a mountain...become the sea. There is a saying in martial arts called 'letting go of the hilt"...one of the meanings is "winning without a sword". A wise phrase is "You should restrain your mood, so that it does not hurry"... a fisherman made a point to laugh my way (like a serial killer) after the family of Pilot Whales were slaughtered....had to restrain myself.

Would like to thank all those for giving me emotional support while in Taiji....at times my phone would be ringing non stop....one time, when my friend and I were at the hot springs, relaxing in the water.....we heard a faint "ring, ring" from afar inside the locker.... she said "There's your phone AGAIN".

Sad that there are so many dolphins whom I bonded and played with that are subjected to tiny and cramped swimming quarters.....they only dream of the times were once they swam free with their family which where caught and most slaughtered. The dolphin friend I made at the Whale Museum, became so excited to have a person "play-friend" that he would leap out of the water. It brought back memories of Sosa, a chimpanzee, I use to visit and play with the whole day inside a cage ....his dead eyes would always come alive when he saw me. Have promised my dolphin friend that I would return again.

Think about my fisherman friend who is the new generation of what's to come in Taiji.... sensed embarrassed feelings on his part about the dolphin slaughter. He carries the family line of Harpooners......to a time when harpooning whales out at sea was considered an act for only the brave.....13 men would risk their lives in a tiny paddle boat as they searched the endless sea for a whale...which they would triumphantly bring home to feed the entire community. Today, our world of technology is wiping out our dolphins and whales, replacing bravery with special boats which track the dolphins sonars......and now they are able to kill thousands throughout the "killing season". And it is no longer a hunt....it is a slaughter. It is no longer about survival..... it is about greed. Can only hope that the next generation is becoming aware of this self destructive path of depleting our and their resources....and hope that they will see that they have more to gain by embracing Eco-Tourism.

Still think about the two Pilot Whale families....and especially the one who fought so hard for his life......he outsmarted and outmanoeuvred the 9 fishermen who looked like angry clowns while yelling at each other as they could not catch him. He refused to give up his life so easily. When I heard his last gasp for air, I knew he was tiring.....and it felt like the world was ending. Taiji is a microcosm of the brutality to the ocean's intelligent beings....the "people of the sea" as they have been called.

Very soon, Canada will be killing our Baby seals in the World's largest mass marine slaughter....have been both a vocal and a financial supporter of ending the seal slaughter. I can only give so much money.....therefore, now trying to give my efforts which I hope amount to more.

Friday, November 6, 2009

October 29/09 A Baby Pilot Whale?

It was my last day there and things in Taiji had began to escalate dangerously. Had a cough from lack of sleep.....it was now the afternoon and had been up for days with little to no sleep. However, I needed to check the cove one last time before I left. Turned the corner to the cove, but was relieved to see no dolphins netted. While sitting on the rocky beach....reflecting upon the horror of the slaughter that morning...noticed something pointing out of the water- like a little fin! Jumped to my feet........thought it might be the baby Pilot Whale which could have escaped the slaughter! Was going to dive in....ran past the "authorized only" barrier....sadly to stop in my tracks as it was NOT the baby Pilot Whale....but a pointy rock sticking out of the water:(

Please see Hardy Jones video below on Pilot Whales being killed in Taiji.
//www.youtube.com/watch?v=PxQM1yi4f_s

October 29/09 My Photos of Booby Traps?

Went to the cliff area to photograph the ankle high barb wire booby trap. It was at the end of the fencing area where I was entering to check the killing cove...made me think that area was under surveillance and that the booby trap was obviously meant for me as I was the only one there.

On reaching the top off the cliff, took my usual path....but this time there were branches barricading the path. After five minutes of throwing the branches to the side, took one careful step and barb wire sprung up and entwined around my leg. Felt like a trapped animal unable to escape! It was very sharp and left some marks, and a small tear through my jeans. Decided not to try to go through the path further since they had entwined EVEN more barb wire since the day before...but this time it was EVEN more dangerous. They tried to make it look like a "natural disaster" from fencing....although if one looks closely you can see how deliberately they are trying to injure someone. It is tied around trees and stretches and entwines itself, camouflaged within the trees and among bushes and leaves. While the day before I had found one which was ankle high tied between two trees...NOW, they had the booby traps at head high...which could easily slice through someone's neck or take out an eye. Very dangerous for anyone who would be filming or taking photos and not paying attention to their surroundings. It was very scary to see....and was trying my best to be very quiet in case there were fishermen hiding up there or worse...the Yakuza. Trying to be like a Ninja...the invisible, silent Ninja...then my cell phone - Ring! Ring! (which scared me!)...it was my mother telling me to get out of there!

While whispering with my mother on the phone (behind a tree)... and looking around...that is when I noticed two sheds hidden behind the trees. The sheds were camouflaged. It was Krazy, even though looking at them....you may not see them! Just like the booby traps that are set out.

Took a photo of one of the sheds with the cell phone that was sent to me. So my instincts were right after all, the area was under surveillance.... not with a camera, but by the fishermen! Must have really entertained them with my cat-like Ninja moves sensing someone was there, but unable to see them! Took some very quick photos...one of crossed wooden stakes (they make it look like fencing being put up), but with a SHARP nail. And a few other barb wire ones. Hardy Jones who has been exposing the dolphin slaughters since the 1970s told me "that the area is public property and a Tsunami escape route". Many people in the past have perished from Tsunamis in that area.

*Do not have the photos posted yet of the shed and the booby traps...still waiting for the photos to be sent to me as they are on the cell phone which I mailed back.
* Sorry that I can not display the photos as I never did receive the photos; actually, the person from a dolphin organization said "sorry" to returning them (hmmm). Did risk serious injury to take them...should have downloaded them before I left Taiji; but was exhausted and had a bad Taiji cough from lack of sleep.

Oct 29/2009 The Cove at Dawn

Went to the cove...wanted to be present for this family of Pilot Whales. Arrived, as the Dawn was breaking and the slaughter was ending. This time, they did the killings in the dark. "Personal Space" guy from "The Cove" documentary was in my shadow, flicking his lighter, moping around me - he was sulky, perhaps because I did not have a camera in his face.

This morning they had three nets, two on the outside and one dividing inside the cove. Perhaps because last time they had a problem with the last brave Samurai Pilot Whale who fought so hard. Or perhaps they had driven in different dolphin species....and they wanted to separate them. This family of Pilot Whales seemed to slip away quickly....as there were more men this time ...counted 16 men out there on three boats.... last time counted roughly 9-10 men. After the slaughter, they checked the nets as though they were looking for one that had been killed, but disappeared.....and it made me think of the baby. Just so awful. At the end, a speed boat of 11 men came towards shore - all looking my way...even though I may have been scared inside....showed no fear...and gave them my best native warrior/samurai look, 9 men disembarked and left the scene.

Returned back to the hotel, once again devastated. Received a call that I should go back up to the cliff to take photos of the barb wire ankle traps with the cell phone which had been loaned to me. Did not like going up there.. felt eyes watching, and it is always so spooky....but would go back again, as it seemed necessary.....

October 28/09 A Scare While Viewing Dolphins in the Cove

Was walking past the Whale Museum looking for a trash can to throw out my coffee can....when I passed a man sleeping in a car facing the cliff of the look out point towards the cove. Immediately it gave me a bad feeling....then I turned the corner of the cove and discovered Pilot Whales (or dolphins) trapped again...with two men guarding the area.

Decided to walk up the cliff..(guy still sleeping)....to get a better look at the situation. There was now a bus driver parked taking a smoking break - so any scream from me would hopefully be loud enough for him to hear if anyone was up there waiting to get hostile. Half way up the stairs I heard the bus pull away. As soon as I reached the top noticed that it had been even more blocked than before. Even the path at the end of the fence had been blocked (there must be surveillance cameras up there). Climbed a tree and then stepped on a fence they put up which completely collapsed-oh,oh, they are going to be mad! Had a feeling the area would be booby trapped - was right... There was barb wire ankle high tied between trees...good thing i had no camera, otherwise it would have sliced through my legs if I was walking fast. Which is what I did last time (walking fast)! Was poking every step before me with a stick...these guys are serious..

Looking out from the cliff into the killing cove, it was so sunny that day....the sun's reflection off the water made it difficult to see (was squinting hard). Saw a group of what looked like pilot whales somewhat bunched together with a baby and younger ones and with up to three to four more energetic ones circling...Perhaps they were males circling to protect...however they were not as large as some others in the group and "seemed" lighter in color. Perhaps the fishermen had driven in more than one species of dolphin. Counted 15 - 20 fins in total in the Cove......Was trying hard to make out the shape of the heads on the ones circling- when i heard a sound in the bushes... in retrospect, it could have been a bird...but it terrified me and I panicked and retraced my steps back....stepping around obstacles and trying to avoid any booby traps..... my instincts were telling me to leave....

October 27/09 A Surfer With a Saw

What a quirky day!! Started off the day surfing...a Japanese surfer lent me his board - gave my bike-lock key (for safe keeping) to a surfer.....as I came in from my short surf session, he said "bye!!!" while he was in his vehicle taking off...with my key! Tried chasing his vehicle to get it back...i like to think that maybe he forgot about my key. Fortunately, another surfer had a saw and cut my lock..(who carries a saw!?)...thank-goodness!

While riding my bike through the side street....saw a police car drive by in the distance on the main street...guess they are having trouble keeping up with me!:)

Yesterday, my friend picked me up.... was "ready to go whale/dolphin watching!"... wearing my "boat attire".... then she pulled into the "Whale Museum"....where we would do our dolphin and whale watching...we had to laugh about our misunderstanding.

Later my friend and I went for sushi...and as it was being passed around I mentioned that I do not eat whale or dolphin (to get her feedback). She said she would Never either!

After dinner we went to the hotsprings...where we chatted about life, love and dolphins. She informed me that her husband does not want her to have internet access....and I jokingly said because he is probably afraid it may take attention away from him. And when I invited her to visit me someday in Canada...she told me that her husband would never allow it! After the hot springs we exchanged hairstyles...and I gave her a dress of mine that she liked. It was funny, because once she put on my dress her personality immediately changed.... so that when her husband picked us up...she told him "I get Internet!....I go to Canada!". His eyes lite up!

Felt so guilty as I went out of town until late that day and was unable to check the Cove. My stay was coming to an end in Taiji....was going to be hard to leave the dolphins behind.

October 26/09 "Playing catch" with baby dolphins

Pushed myself out of bed....felt emotionally drained from the previous day. Heard from someone that the police were looking for me. How did they know my name? Was there independently ...not associated with any organization. The police can throw one in jail for 28 days based on suspicion alone....so it made me a little nervous; because I had crossed the barrier (trespassed) a couple times already. Although was told that it was nothing to worry about- just routine questions.

Tried to look at the video footage from my water camera - and, my memory card jammed in my computer... so much for a camera for the rest of my stay!

Later that day I went into Taiji....went up to the Look Out Point...while walking up the stairs, saw the police drive by-had to laugh to myself as I thought..there they are looking for me!:) Better the police than the Yakuza. Reached the top and took my usual path. Relieved to see the Cove was dolphin free.

Went to the Dolphin Resort aquarium across from the "dolphin base" where wild dolphins are trained to be sold to aquariums all over the world. The Dolphin Resort is a hotel where guests stay and can visit with dolphins who are confined to tiny pools. Played catch with two of the dolphins...one was too scared to play as she was new. However, because of their cramped quarters "playing catch" is all they enjoy doing in their life....so I played "catch" with the dolphins for two hours...until my arms gave out. Felt terrible about having to stop as they did not want to quit! There were two babies that came in one month ago....was told they had no mommy....translation: mothers were probably killed or perhaps being trained after being brought in from the wild and then separated from their babies. There was one male dolphin alone...was told he had been there for awhile. He had the saddest face on a dolphin I have ever seen - his "catch ball" floated around in his pool... In fact, the only thing keeping him breathing is Hannah...a dolphin he is in love with in the next pool and whom he can not take his eyes off.

A Japanese friend invited me to go dolphin and whale watching the next day....like Ric O'Barry says, we need to push Eco-Tourism! And with saying that, I must also add...being here, and experiencing on a smaller scale, the struggle, frustrations and feelings of helplessness for the dolphins....it only makes me admire and appreciate Hardy Jones and Ric O'Barry's efforts throughout the years all the more!

October 25/09 The Cove at Dawn

Bought a coffee can from a vending machine and put it in my purse.....it was almost 5AM and still very dark. Jumped into a cab.....asked the driver to take me to the "Whale Museum"(close to Cove) inTaiji. The driver seemed "puzzled" as he kept trying to explain to me that the Whale Museum was still "Closed"...given it was somewhat still the middle of the night!. Asked him to take me anyway. After dropping me off, he sped away....can not imagine what he was thinking.

Cab driver taking me to the "Whale Museum"....before first light of day...

video

After the taxi driver dropped me off.... looked up at the sky for a helicopter....no such miracle....only a big black cloud looming ominously over the Cove. Knew then that I would have to face the fishermen alone.

video

Walked up the stairs towards the Look Out Point....then heard a vehicle pulling into the parking lot just below the stairs, so I started to back track my way down as I did not want to be filming at the edge of the cliff with the fishermen coming up behind me. While walking down the stairs, a fisherman was approaching me up the stairs fast and furiously....so quickly sat down on the steps - not sure why; perhaps because it seemed like a non-threatening gesture. From my interest in Primatology, learned that when confronted by an ape in the wild....it's important to make yourself look smaller and submissive. So there I was sitting on the steps as an angry fisherman approached....started to look through my purse for my phone! But instead, just before the fisherman reached me...I pulled out a coffee can....."Coffee?". He looked confused for a moment then swung his arm for me to "GO!"...Yikes!

Walked over to the cove....it was still dark....and it was agonizing to see the family of Pilot Whales swimming in circles scared...began to go past the barrier again...feeling their cry for help as if they sensed a friend on shore. Unfortunately, our moment disappeared as vehicle headlights began to appear....and soon I was being surrounded by fishermen one by one.

video

The Fishermen blocked me from viewing the killing (fortunately, as it was very traumatizing just watching the boats moving in for the kill). One of the fishermen stood very close to me...following my every step as I tried my best to film...wondered if he was my friend's father. Towards the end...bore witness to the gut wrenching struggle of the last Pilot Whale trapped...He was like a "Samurai Warrior"! Nine men in three boats, yelling and screaming at each other took him on.... He swam frantically...but there was no escape...held his breath as long as he could.... heard his gasp for air from afar. This went on for about 10 minutes, then I heard a loud thud from behind the Cove...his valiant struggle to live was over.


video

When it was all over...the fishermen collected the netting from the cove. One fishermen kept looking my way. When the boat moved in closer to drop some fishermen off at shore....that is when I noticed that the one fishermen who had been looking my way looked like my friend. Felt sick! That could have been one of the reasons that he did not want me to go..... he was also a part of the slaughter.

Spent the rest of the day in bed with no appetite.

Discovering dolphins in the Killing Bay

Since it was pouring of rain...decided it was a good day to walk around Taiji as nobody would be around to notice me exploring the Cove area. Jumped on the boat from Katsuura - Taiji...the waves were big so stepped a shore feeling sea sick....perhaps this was a sign that it was not going to be a good day.

Walked past the "Whale Museum" towards the cove...it was eerily quiet around town. Turned the bend and my heart stopped when I saw "Pilot Whales in Cove!"....no, no, ...this is NOT suppose to happen! Did not know what to do...so approached the Pilot Whales...wanted to get closer, went past the barrier...wanted to reach out to them...the family of Pilot Whales were scared and all huddled together. Sensed that they knew I was there....and wanted to help. Drew closer, bonding more with them with every step...then suddenly a loud voice came over the speakers. Had no idea what was being said, but it sounded like a serious warning(in Japan you can be arrested and held without charges for 28 days)....so had to leave. It was so Awful!


When i first discovered the Pilot whales...unfortunately, my water camera has no zoom
video

Ran up to the "Look Out Point"....at the edge of the cliff, looked into the Cove...counted 10-15 Pilot Whales...but it was hard to tell. This was the path I would take often to check the cove.

video



Returned to the hotel and emailed my Taiji friend about the Pilot Whales in the cove! He said that I "must CALM down"...and that he understood my feelings....BUT, that he had told "them"(Yakuza? Fishermen?) that I would not DO anything!!...and if i showed up at the Cove at Dawn, "THEY" would not believe him so "I better NOT come". Knew then our friendship would end....and since the heart has only one master...mine being for the dolphins...his for his family, etc...I would be there at Dawn to have the dolphins' story told.

Spent the night up...emailing news media to come help the Pilot Whales...thought perhaps if media showed up with a helicopter it would stop the slaughter.....

playing with a dolphin at Whale Museum


The next day my friend dropped by and over coffee, I asked about the boats circled out at sea the day before.... He said that he had asked his father about that and was told that they never found any dolphins that day; so they had quit early - (Yikes, found out then, that his Father is also involved in the dolphin slaughter)..... pretended to be very casual about his comment, but he was beginning to let things slip out...and he asked me if i didn't mind if he smoked....which I said I did not, but added that he should quit.... but when we talked about other things, he did not seem to need a cigarette, only when the conversation turned to dolphins. Was feeling tension building in our friendship....perhaps he was beginning to realize that my mind was not being changed about how I feel about the dolphin slaughter. The more he began to see this...the less he looked me in the eye....by now I had also began to suspect that he was the one who had me followed by those men in the black suits and white shirts (the attire of the Yakuza, Japanese Mafia).

After coffee my friend and I went to the "Whale Museum" ....they let us in free as he knew the people who worked there. Upstairs we wandered among the artifacts....where he told me that his family has been harpooning whales since the 1600's. Suppose at one time, this was a very honourable profession, where the bravest men would go out and bring home food for an entire community. We went on to the dolphin aquariums....where through a glass window I played with the dolphins. My friend filmed me playing with them, then excused himself for a smoke...his demeanor off...he seemed emotional....almost as though he was holding back tears.

As soon as I walked in, I could feel that one of the dolphins wanted so badly to play. As one can see they love interacting with people. They are so confined to swimming in circles. Dolphins are so intelligent, they need mental stimulation. Played with him until my friend finally tore me away.

video

Playing like a kid with the dolphins...

video

Later while still interacting with the dolphin, he pressed his face against the glass, making gestures with his mouth.... felt that he was trying to tell me that he was angry at being in such a small tank:(
video 

While having another coffee break at the Whale Museum...overlooking the Killer Whale enclosure...he talked about when he was younger there use to be another female Orca who seemed much more friendly-but she died. And told me about a dolphin who would find garbage bags and swim with one on her fin...when the trainers would take it off her...she would find another....when he went to laugh at the thought of the dolphin outsmarting the trainers, he stopped himself. That is when I got a chill up my spine...because he immediately disconnected himself from any caring emotion towards dolphins. There seemed to be emotional conflict about the dolphin slaughter in my friend's head. Family loyalty is important in Japan...... could sense he was having to be loyal in thinking and supporting what his family believed. Felt a certain sympathy for him because he was born into this.

We left the museum....and told him that I did not need a ride home as I was going to explore the area...translation: Check the Cove for dolphins. He left....and no doubt he knew why I wanted to stay behind. Just behind the "Whale Museum" there are stairs which lead up to a cliff...which is the look out point to the killing cove....when I reached the top and saw the tarps up...where the Japanese do NOT want anyone viewing the cove and what happens in the cove. Fought my way through the vines to the edge of the cliff....Spooky place!...but was relieved to see no dolphins in the Cove. Hopefully, it will remain that way.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

October 22/2009 WAKING THE GODS



October 22/09

Walked out of my hotel in the morning and across the road there was a police car...so maybe last night it was "undercover police after all?"....went for a coffee and returned to my hotel to meet up with my friend. We made plans to hike up to the waterfall. He showed up with a motorcycle- NEVER been on a motorcycle....was nervous about it; but he assured me that he was a good driver and that i would be safe. Put on my helmet extra tight- a childhood friend of mine died when she fell backwards off a motorcycle...so my whole life I have avoided them!

Found myself winding through the streets up to the waterfall - cutting off my friend's breathing as I clung to him so tight! The waterfall in Katsuura is majestic and the forest around it is jungle like-green, lush and untouched.....like stepping back in time! We hiked up to the shrines and temple...where i made a wish at the temple by pulling on a rope to ring a bell...which is suppose to wake the gods....wishing for dolphins and whales to be safe. After my wish I turned to my friend with a satisfied smile....his smile faded as he grabbed for a cigarette...and I sensed that he was suspicious about the nature of my wish and that is when i began to think he was involved somehow with the dolphin slaughter-it was as though we had stolen each others thoughts.



We headed back to Katsuura for lunch. On the way, he pulled into two hot springs he wanted me to know about...told him how ironic..... had gone to one last night......he went very quiet as though he knew. At lunch...while eating a bowl of rice....he seemed relax enough that i decided to bring up again the "dolphins"...so in my most casual voice i asked if he had seen any dolphins in the Cove that morning (now realize that was too direct a question). At that moment....his face began to change and his hand began to shake (not sure if from anger or from mercury poisoning) which held his chopsticks. He looked at me very deeply and said "I know WHY you are here.." he seemed bottled up with anger.... was caught off guard...feeling exposed. He went on to say...that his uncle is a harpooner and that he is very proud of him. After he calmed down, we made a deal that we would spend the day trying to change each other's mind....

The whole day we roared around on his motorcycle....(had him take me to the Cove - only that he went by it much too fast). We stopped at a surf spot too...and a Japanese surfer became really hostile when he found out why I was there....he stated throwing things around and I was afraid that he was going to hit me in the head. Later, asked my friend why he said anything....and he told me that he wanted me to see how people feel....and that i should take that as my warning because it was just "the tip of the iceberg". After that, he took me to a park where there is a statue of a Right whale....mentioning this is where they apologize for killing whales. After that we took a walk along a wooded trail looking up in the trees for monkeys .... then my friend stopped, frozen, looking out to sea, there were boats in a circle. Did not have any binoculars....so it was hard to see what was happening. He said the boats looked too small to be killing dolphins...but he also added that he had never seen anything like that.. And he talked to himself in Japanese...while I was punching the air, saying "what, dolphins! Let me at them!". It was so far from shore and we were so high on a rocky cliff, it was impossible to know what was going on. We then drove by the marina and he pointed out that the dolphin killing boats were docked and that i could put my mind at rest. But of course I could not! In the marina, he also pointed out some tiny pools where they keep dolphins who are "Just getting trained". He also mumbled..."never in a million years did he think that he would ever be hanging out with someone against the slaughter"..... from time to time I would catch him hitting his hand to his head...hope i did not get him into too much trouble.

At the Marina, noticed how scary looking some of the fishermen were! A loss of compassion showed in their faces....





October 21/009 Being followed by Yakuza?


Flew to Japan October19/2009....arrived on the 20Th...slept for 11 hours (would be my last good night's sleep in Japan). On Oct 21st, headed to Katsuura by train.. Katsuura is 10 mins outside Taiji. Arrived there 4 hours later. Had no plan, just took comfort in Ric O'Barry's words to just "show up".

While outside the train station, trying to communicate with a cab driver on the price for going back and forth to Taiji, a young man walked up and asked if he could help translate.....in perfect English. Mentioning that I was planning to travel to Taiji off and on...he gave me a knowing nod as to say....you must be here because of the dolphins...however he seemed nice enough...and told me that there was a train and boat going in to Taiji daily, he was even nice enough to circle all the times from a booklet that the trains were leaving from Katsuura-Taiji. And then pointed out the direction of my hotel.

The hotel was only a short walk from the train station...and no one seemed to be around. Heard laughing coming from a room just up the stairs from the reception desk...so wandered up calling out..'hello"...then a man called out to me from a room..."Yes....come into my bed...come in".. ran back to the train station and grabbed the guy I had just been talking to and brought him back to the hotel with me for any other translations and to find out where the receptionist was.

He seemed amused with my story ...and the fact that i was frightened. While we both walked to the hotel i learned that he was from Taiji....so trying to sound casual, asked a couple questions on the "status" of the dolphin drives. He sounded a little guarded, but he followed it up with a vague response-"Ummm.. think they have ONLY killed about 50 Pilot Whales"....felt there was more to it....but did not want to push it as I could see that he looked uncomfortable and perhaps sensed some anger. And little did I know that those "trying to be discreet questions" of mine would soon be passed on....

As we walked up to the hotel we were met by a lady who peddled up on a bike...my new friend translated for me and I was able to check in on the OTHER side of the hotel from the "come into my room" guy.  My friend waited for me to put my luggage in the room.....then he gave me a bicycle tour of Katsuura. We rode by a group of children as we chatted...and they were all waving and saying 'hello!"....rode by saying "hello!" back....and hear the children comment on something. Asked my friend what they had said...He gave a nervous laugh saying that they had said that "HE looked Japanese!!!"....it was funny, because HE IS Japanese...


That same evening went looking for a grocery store....walked out of the hotel and across the street saw a black car with tinted windows.

Came out of the grocery store....saw the car again....perhaps they were the police..?...had heard that foreigners in town are sometimes followed by the police and being a foreigner in town I stood out.

After coming out of the hot springs just as i was about to put on my shoes a man dressed in a black suit and white shirt came in....we immediately made eye contact...he then turned to the person who was working there and asked a question- seemed like he was asking a parking question. However, when i stepped out they pulled away. Wow, my trip was already getting Scary...they must be undercover police following me...good i thought, maybe that makes me safe from the fishermen!

Walked around looking for a restaurant...turned the corner and came face to face with the same guy from the Onsen and he was with another guy, both dressed alike in black suits, the other guy looked me in the eye like a laser beam....his gaze penetrated through me like i was prey!...jumped into a store and wandered until the men were gone - ran back to my hotel...Freaky Scary!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Investigating the quiet

After winning a National Fencing competition with injuries... needed time off training. Decided to do something i have been wanting to do for a couple years...go to Taiji, Japan. As a former competitive surfer who has shared many a wave with dolphins and who has felt their protective circling presence when surfing, I wanted to try to protect them as well. And to support those who are trying to keep the pressure on from the slaughter of dolphins from starting up again as i had read that it was "temporarily suspended"...but that a group of Pilot Whales (larger dolphins) were killed. But had no idea on what scale the killings were happening.....decided that the "quiet should be investigated".

Develop intuitive Judgment and understanding for everything.
-Perceive those things which cannot be seen
-Pay attention even to trifles ~~ Book of the Five Rings