Killing the Gods of the Sea: Japanese Religious and Environmental Attitudes towards Whales and Dolphins
Ouvert au grand public
Japan is nowadays often imagined as a whaling nation and its dolphin and whale hunts are criticized in western media. However, in the early modern period, many fishermen in northern Japan protested against whaling and dolphin practices. They believed that these animals were the incarnations of the gods of the sea and would bring fish to the shore. By tracing the religious and ecological worldview of Japanese fishermen, this presentation shows that many coastal communities in Japan had a more nuanced and less violent relationship to marine animals than it is often believed.