The ways Japan eats whale
A set menu of pickle-grilled whale meat is prepared at the restaurant P-man in Minamiboso, east of Tokyo, Japan. When Yachiyo Ichihara was a child in Wada, one of Japan's oldest whaling villages, she'd go down to the harbor with a bucket and carry it...more
In those days, men would peddle the meat from carts, calling "Whale, whale" as they went door to door. But in 1986, a whaling moratorium drove prices up and made whale a luxury food. Ichihara, pictured checking whale products at a roadside store...more
Sweets packaging featuring whale are displayed at a roadside store named WA-O! in Minamiboso. Though Japan's post-Christmas announcement sparked widespread condemnation and fears for the world's whales, the prospect of growth in whaling is far from...more
Yoko Ichihara prepares whale bacon at the kitchen of her restaurant named P-man in Minamiboso. Barely 300 people are directly connected to whaling, and whale represented only about 0.1 percent of Japan's total meat consumption in 2016, according to...more
A man walks at Wada fishing port in Minamiboso. Japan has not yet set its hunt quota. But many in the industry believe the number taken will fall between the 180 minkes and sei whales taken in the Northern Pacific and the 330 minkes hunted in the...more
Wada fishing port in Minamiboso, east of Tokyo. In Wada, though whales are everywhere - including a giant skeleton by a museum and metal whales on a seawall - most people there on a recent afternoon were either surfing, driving, or fishing near the...more
A set menu of deep-fried whale nuggets are prepared at the restaurant P-man in Minamiboso. A recent informal Yahoo Japan poll of nearly 20,000 people said 58.2 percent liked eating whale and 28.3 did not, while 13.5 percent had never eaten it. Older...more
Yoko Ichihara cooks deep-fried whale nuggets inside the kitchen at her restaurant named P-man in Minamiboso. Whale cutlets, sliced raw whale, deep-fried whale nuggets, whale bacon and whale jerky feature on the menu at the restaurant Ichihara runs -...more
Yoko Ichihara takes order from customers at her restaurant named P-man in Minamiboso. Though Japan's government insists eating whale is an important part of the country's food culture, consumption did not become widespread until after World War Two,...more
Yoko Ichihara cooks deep-fried whale nuggets inside the kitchen at her restaurant named P-man in Minamiboso. Eating whale peaked in the early 1960s, falling off as other meat became more available. Many older Japanese nostalgically recall eating...more
A menu featuring whale meat dishes are seen at a restaurant P-man in Minamiboso. Traditional recipes include blubber with vinegar-miso sauce, thinly sliced whale tongue, whale steak, a hotpot where slices of whale meat are simmered with mizuna greens...more
Yachiyo Ichihara, 72, waves to her friends at a roadside store featuring local whale products named WA-O! in Minamiboso. Ichihara's mother-in-law, Yachiyo, praises it as an ideal food. "When it's in your mouth, it's meat, but when it's in your...more
Yoko Ichihara cooks whale meat dishes inside the kitchen at her restaurant named P-man in Minamiboso. Ichihara wishes more people ate whale at home, but is reassured by the restart of commercial whaling. "I'd be concerned if I heard we couldn't eat...more
A visitor walks past a whale products corner at a roadside store named WA-O! in Minamiboso. The 1986 global whaling moratorium made whale a pricey food that rarely appears on family tables or in ordinary supermarkets, with vendors relying on Japan's...more
Whale ham is displayed at a roadside store named WA-O! in Minamiboso. REUTERS/Issei Kato
Canned whale meat is displayed at a roadside store named WA-O! in Minamiboso. REUTERS/Issei Kato
Sign boards featuring Baird's beaked whale are displayed at the entrance of a restaurant P-man in Minamiboso. REUTERS/Issei Kato
An area for landing captured whales at Wada fishing port in Minamiboso. REUTERS/Issei Kato
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