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THE COVE – A Despicable Propaganda Movie May 8, 2010

Posted by TAMAGAWABOAT in Blogroll, Japan, Japan Bashing, racism, whaling.
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“THE COVE” (93min/America/2009), which won the 82nd Academy Award for best documentary, is scheduled to be released in Japan at the beginning of summer. Without waiting for its release, I’ve watched “THE COVE” (full-length) on a free video site.

To quickly describe this movie, “THE COVE” is NOT a documentary movie. It is obvious that “THE COVE” is anti-Japanese propaganda made on the pretext of promoting anti-whaling. “THE COVE” will probably ring the bell with the people who are eager to bash Japan or the Japanese people with various excuses (anti-whaling, animal protection, historical issues, economic friction, and so on). “THE COVE” looks at Japanese whaling from a one-sided point of view. “THE COVE” takes a self-righteous and intrusive attitude. This is so Anglo-Saxonish! (Anglo-Saxonish; Anglo-Saxon people so often tend to think that they are always right and on the side of justice. They don’t hesitate to impose their values on other people.)

 About three years ago, I watched “OUR DAILY BREAD” (92min/Austria&Germany/2005) at a theater in Shibuya, Tokyo. So many chickens, swine, and cattle are killed one after another in automated slaughterhouses. This movie does not have narrations and keeps a detached tone. As a result, “OUR DAILY BREAD” succeeded with maintaining total emotional control. I sincerely admired the Japanese film’s distributor for having translated the movie’s title “OUR DAILY BREAD” into “INOCHI NO TABEKATA” (Japanese title). In a literal translation, “INOCHI NO TABEKATA” means “HOW TO EAT LIVES”. The Japanese title “INOCHI NO TABEKATA” reminds almost all the Japanese people of two phrases that we always say at meals while joining our hands before and after eating. These two phrases are “Itadaki-masu” and “Gochisosama-deshita”. These two phrases contain our gratitude to sacrificed lives. After watching “OUR DAILY BREAD”, I felt that we humans are pitiful creatures that cannot alive without killing other creatures. “OUR DAILY BREAD” is a great documentary movie.

Propaganda and Documentaries… what’s the difference between the two? Propaganda has a one-sided point of view and tries to inflame a certain sentiment among viewers. On the other hand, Documentaries always offer viewers something “thought-provoking”. The more universally “thought-provoking” content the movie offers, the better documentary movie it is.

The anti-Japanese propaganda movie “THE COVE” was filmed on the pretext of promoting anti-whaling (or animal protection) activities. The most despicable thing about “THE COVE” is that it presented the people hunting dolphins as wicked people. We know that there are so many people who engage in the slaughtering of farm animals all over the world. We humans can eat meals everyday thanks to the people who engage in the slaughtering of farm animals. Who are willing to slaughter animals around the world? We cannot eat unless they perform such essential and important work. Therefore, slaughterhouses are virtually as “untouchable” existences in human society. However, this movie producer secretly took videos of dolphin-hunting, and yet, emphasizes the cruelty of dolphin-killing using unnecessary optical effects intending to foment strong hatred against the people hunting dolphins. This is unforgivable human-rights abuse against Taiji-Cho’s people (Wakayama Japan) who engage in such important work. I hope earnestly that Taiji-Cho’s people will keep up the traditional coastal whaling for many years to come despite anti-whalers’ pressures.

Will you watch “THE COVE” while munching on McDonald’s burgers or KFC’s chicken?

P.S. – June 6, 2010

Three out of 26 theaters, which had scheduled to screen “THE COVE” in late of June, announced that they decided to cancel the screening of “THE COVE” on June 4th. They explained that their decision to cancel was due to the pressure of a certain civic group. However, foreign mass media changed the word “a certain civic group” into “a right-wing group” and reported this news to the world. Foreign mass media  which don’t want to recognize the existence of Japanese patriotis or nationalism among the ordinary Japanese, have a tendency to blame inconvenient news for them on right-wingers(Uyoku).

This news caused a heated controversy in Japan. Some people claim that “a certain civic group” violates the right to freedom of expression or the right to know in Japan, and the same thing as at the time of the movie “YASZUKUNI” in 2008 happened again. Some people say that this event shows how narrow-minded and closed the Japanese society is. I would like to counter the above argument as follows,

“THE COVE” is a kind of terrorism against the Japanese people. “THE COVE” is the anti-whaling propaganda movie which attemps to inject the deadly poison into the Japanese society. This propaganda movie is supported by Sea Shepherd which is notorious for eco-terrorist group. Sea Shepherd has repeatedly conducted terrorist attacks against Japanese research whaling vessels in the Antarctic Ocean. We should never yield to terrorism as a slogan that we have been chanting for the past 9 years since September 11th, 2001. We Japanese have to protect Japan’s national security and the Japanese people’s right to exist from Sea Shepherd’s terrorist attack.

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Town of Sun, the Black Tide and Whales (2009)


1. MikyyXls2 - May 11, 2010

What a wonderful blog post! I am so delighted you chose to share it.

2. Gandam - May 16, 2010

Aglo-American eco-terrorists believe they can rule the world, while they prove they are ruled by money.
Either way, they are sinking as Andy Gil sunk.
Good job Tamagawa, Keep on going.

3. Sebas - June 8, 2010

I`m glad to hear the other side of the story. However, there are some points you don`t touch upon. I agree that killing unendangered animals for food consumption is perfectly alright. I don`t think Japanese people are at fault for killing and consuming dolphins if that`s what they want to do. But why is it secretive? Why is it that before this movie came out, most Japanese people did not know this was taken place in there own country? In addiction, it seems to me (perhaps based on the movie) that dolphin meat is not healthy and can be dangerous if consumed. If that`s the case, then shouldn`t the goverment of Japan control the seeling of dolphin to ensure it`s people will not get sick. You compare it to the slaughter of farm animals, but the big difference is that the slaughtering of farm animals is not done secretely. And by this I mean, everyone knows that cows are being slaughtered for our consumption where as no Japanese people I know eat dolphin meat. They don`t eat it because it`s unhealthy. OR perhaps they do eat it without knowing they are eating dolphin meat. The bigger point here is that if meat from farm animals were poisonous, the government would ensure that it`s citizens were informed and would take precautions not allow people to purchase this meat. I don`t think these same precautions are taking place when it comes to dolphin meat in Japan. The problem is with the secretive nature all of this is taking place. If there`s nothing to hide, then why all the secrets?

kotaji - October 5, 2010

its getting secretive on slaughter houses in the US as well. if the Movie called “food inc.” is not laying to me. culture of eating dolphins,survived the history, i think much healthier than things we eat now a days. of coz, you not gonna eat dolphins only, even drinking water too much can kill u. too much of one thing is no good for anything. so, if u agree on this, just leave japanese alone on eating dolphins they are just happy not to be interfered by others.

4. GSpot - June 8, 2010

Can you really be this stupid?

Rufus - June 8, 2010

You’d be surprised.

5. K - June 10, 2010

Why would you protest against a film showing the Japanese people that they are buying poisoned meat?

kabocha - June 10, 2010

Poison? You know Japan is the No1 country where many people live to an advanced age.Whale meat in Taiji will do you no harm.Resident eat whale for many years.

yorick - June 19, 2010

“Resident eat whale for many years…

… and therefore residents in Taiji has in average 5 TIMES HIGHER level of MERCURY in bodies that is normal in Japan. This piece of information was released by JAPANESE GOVERMENT… is this also an act of – what you call “Anti Japanese” propaganda????

Sorry, but I can not see this movie as “Anti-Japanese” propaganda at all. What I can see is, that people like you are trying to bring it into talks about “Anti Japanese” propaganda and by that lead discussion out of the topic. I must say, you are quite successful.

If all the movie is wrong and Americans are so arrogant (Yes, in this point I agree with you – that movie is to much self aware and arrogant and I do not like it. There should be much bigger space for Japanese to comment it. Like ordinary Japanese.) – but if it is so, why you just do not let it go to cinemas and let people to make their own opinion on it?

Why all of you “antiterrorist fighters” are not fighting against real terrorists, who are calling to Cinemas and promise them to burn them down, if they not cancel that show??

And if that kind of “fishery” in Japan you consider to be a part of Japanese profound tradition, why you just do not open that site for camera crews from all around the world, if you are proud of it? If Taiji had do that, this movie would not even get started.

Anyway. The biggest problem in movie is definitely not fishing dolphins. The biggest problem I can see in “THE COVE” is, that state officers are releasing misleading information about the topic. This is truly unforgivable point. And this is pointed out in that movie quite well. On My opinion – Not fishing dolphins, but uncovering “usotsuki komuin” arrogant lying public JAPANESE officer is the real reason, why this movie do not go to Cinemas. You know, Japanese TV do not do this so often and definitely not in this style… Frankly said, this piss me off much more than all killed dolphins at that side. Unfortunately, there is plenty of evidence, where Japanese State operated agencies in past had released misleading info…
Not those killed dolphins, but uncovered state officer, lying on camera is, what is really dangerous for “Japanese public opinion”.

Before you call me Anti-Japanese terrorist, just let me claim here, that i truly love Japan, its people and its culture. I do live in Japan for almost 10 years, pay taxes here and most of the time I am happy. I just feel sad, when people like you are trying to “protect” public from topics, about which they truly should think.

6. Dustin - June 21, 2010

I agree the movie struck a wrong chord in the tone. It really wasn’t a good documentary. The information about dolphins and the politics behind whaling was good, but the movie could have done without all the goofy sneaking around hidden camera stuff.

I am against whaling because (1) whales are endangered, which makes it different from consuming animals that are domesticated to be consumed, (2) it is NOT a Japanese tradition, (3) it is more about amakudari (retired politicians, 100 percent of whom are corrupt) siphoning public funds in the guise of a Japanese tradition.

TATSUHIRO - July 4, 2010

>(1) whales are endangered, which makes it different from
> consuming animals that are domesticated to be consumed

This is the tipical and largest misunderstanding of those who are against whailing.

The spiecies of which Japan wants to resume whaling is mink whales. There is no one who insist that mink whale is in danger of extinction.

On the contrary, the stock of mink whales have largely increased because it is not target for whailing in 1950s and 60s when reckless whaling were carried out. The stock of mink whales is estimated to be more than 760,000.

On the other hand, Blue whales is definately in danger. Blue whales and mink whales feed on the same. Threrefore, some scientists insist that there is a possiblity that decreasing the stock of mink whales should help to recover the stock of blue whales.

Most poeple who have anti-whaling sentiment, do not have even such a fundumental knowledge.

The reason why many people in the world are againg whaling without such fundamental knowledge is because of the activities of anti-whaling group who try to appeal to peoples’ emotion not to reasoning just like this movie.

Regarding commercial whailing, I agree that it si not a japanese tradition. But it does mean anything if it
is a tradition or not. Of course, people have a right to do something that is not a tradition.

Rishi - August 17, 2010

>Of course, people have a right to do something that is not a tradition.

It matters when others disapprove. Should I not disapprove that nuclear bomb was dropped on Japan. Going by your logic, I should not, since it did not affect my family at all.

kotaji - October 5, 2010

>It matters when others disapprove. >Should I not disapprove that >nuclear bomb was dropped on Japan. >Going by your logic, I should not, >since it did not affect my family >at all.
does this sound funny to anyone at all?? its like a kids talk bro.

7. Jennifer - June 21, 2010

I really dislike your comment about being “Anglo-Saxonish”. I think this is a racist remark in itself. It hardly helps your argument.

Rishi - August 17, 2010

I agree, it is racist. As an Indian living in North America, and comparing experiences of my friends working in Japan, racism is far more tolerated and explicitly expressed in Japan.

8. kabocha - June 22, 2010

Most of Japanese Know that residents in Taiji has high mercurial level.People who eat fish as a staple food tend to have much mercury.So what?There are no harm came to any of them, no serious handycapped person.Natural marcury is different from mercury pollution.

9. no name - July 7, 2010

one of the worst movie Ive seen so far..
what was the point of this movie? Documentary about the Dolphin lover and his friends?

10. kotaji - October 5, 2010

Thanks for the blog.
I like the debating of all sort here.
the movie is to me a propaganda as it carries one persuasive perspective. and i come to hate propaganda as a whole. propaganda is not compatible with democracy. i hope ppl here will be sensitive to it, debate about it and name it a propaganda.

11. Anonymous - December 28, 2010

I actually like propaganda with a precise and convincing messsage and I think this site is spot on…just joshin’ ya.

so why haven’t any japanese bloggers bothered to post here?


12. Douglas MacArthur was right about 12 year olds - January 4, 2011

Just for your information, Louis Psihoyos is form a Greek family and Ric O’Barry is from a Jewish heritage … so much for your “Evil Anglo-Saxon” theory.

As you probably don’t know where Anglo-Saxons come from, it was Denmark and Germany via England. The distance between Greece and Israel from Northern Europe, where the Anglo-Saxons came from, is far greater than the distance between Japan and Korea.

Either your brain is as small as your penis or the mercury is getting to you.

Some serious questions though …

Where does this weak propaganda come from?
Where is the original source of these ideas you people are repeating like a brainless clockwork parrot? I have heard it so many times.
Can you not think for yourselves?
Is it government propaganda?
The Japanese Whaling industry PR?

Do Japanese really have such an insecurity complex that any criticism of any tiny part of the nation HAS to be an attack on the whole of the nation?

It is so immature.

BTW, have you actually seen the movie?

13. JH - March 5, 2011


14. Gino - October 17, 2012

Thanks for giving us your other side of the story. Always good to debate and understand the other party instead of confronting them.

ON my side:

a) Comparing Dolphins or Whale to Chicken quite… doesn`t fly.

b) Your paranioa about the anglo-saxon conspiracy does not really help your statement. Actually a lot of Japanese people are now against that slaughter and they are not less Japanese than you. I tend to think the opposite, they are more Japanese as they don;t feel a sophisticated Japan should be associated with such kind of stupid events.

c) You suggest that killing minke whales will help blue whales, this is completely unproven and misleading. No scientific backup to that statement. The data are more in favor of saying the minke whale population dropped by 50% compared to 1980 ago with still a population around 500,000 and the blue whale is now only few thousands individuals. saying that minke whale is prolifarating is and contributing to the blue whale extinction is not scientifically backed up.

d) I also pay huge taxes in Japan and would find it scandalous if my money sponsors such kind of event. Isn’t it legitimate to have a say in how taxes are used in this country?

I liked the movie as no-one before knew that there was Dolphin killing, even in Japan, people did not know it exists. I saw recently a movie about Faroe island where they also have that type of killing. Europe used to use to have organized slaughter of animals too (bear, wolves).

To me, bottom line is killing animals when not necessary should be avoided, endangered species or not, poisonous or not. Japan is a sophisticated country with good supply of fish, meat and vegetable and really don’t need that type of food. And I find it legitimate to question the examplarity you get from that type of event for the next generation. I would oppose any single yen spent from my tax to sponsor directly or undirectly this event and would vote for politicians who will have the courage to ban this practice for all Japan.

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16. Susu.ro - January 4, 2015

This is an important movie, not only because of the content matter, but also because it demonstrates the capacity for people to care with such passion and conviction. The movie is cleverly presented, taking you on an emotional and eye-opening journey, and building to a powerful climax.

I personally found the movie to be moving and beautiful, and by far one of the most exciting and powerful documentaries I have ever seen. I am hugely impressed by the film makers ability to translate their experiences and passion into a very well made movie, and hope they inspire others to do the same.

17. Yogesh Khandke - February 11, 2015

It is your karma that caused a Japanese to be beheaded by the ISIS. The more you will kill and eat animals the more you will bear the consequences. Don’t forget that it was your karma that resulted in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Stop the murders. Stop abetting murder. Stop supporting murder. Or face your karma.

18. Anonymous - October 12, 2015

Bottom line is dolphins are cute, therefore should not be hunted and consumed. That is where the anti-dolphin hunting people are coming from no matter how much they try to mask it with twisted idealogy. If it was alligator or something not as cute as dolphins, there would be no controversy and of course no stupid movie.

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