On a hot autumn day we sat in the shade by Lake Pertobe. Was it an apparition? A young Japanese woman tripped along the shore of the lake, placed a bright yellow cloth on the grass and sat down with her long musical instrument against her knee.
We expressed our pleasure at the performance to the woman’s Australian born Japanese partner in the car beside us . He explained how she was warming up before heading out to little Woodford Primary School to play music and perform with her Japanese puppets. Lucky children!
I said how I felt we were celebrating the cessation of Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean. We commented how most Japanese too are delighted by this. The young man knew from living in Tokyo that the Japanese do not on the whole eat whale meat nor approve of whaling. It was more for big business interests and perhaps an adherence to an old custom. When we were lucky enough to be in Japan for my son’s wedding just over a year ago my nephew who studies, teaches and lives in Japan shared similar information with us.