So I have just arrived at my hotel in Katsuura, Japan, a town away from Taiji… the little hotel and town that I called home for three months last summer (Australia time).
It feels surreal to be back in Taiji- in some ways it feels like i have never left, yet this time I feel as though I am a completely different person than the young 19 year old that first came to Taiji last year… While on my 9 hour-long plane trip to Osaka yesterday, I wrote a little about the transition I felt as I left, once again, for Japan…
“Sitting in the cool confines of the plane which I would occupy for the next 9 hours, I look out the window and see the hot Gold Coast sun beating down on the asphalt… I can’t help but draw comparisons to roughly this time last year, when I departed on not only my first trip to Taiji, Japan, but my first trip anywhere outside my home country- Australia.
You could say that I was naiive, scared and very curious as to what would transpire over my three month stay in Taiji. Now, almost a year later I find myself ‘preparing’ for another visit… The amount I’ve grown and learnt over the past year has astounded even myself.
You can never prepare yourself to go to Taiji and witness the dolphin slaughter. That is the whole reason why I left last year, at the age of 19- no matter how old you are, bearing witness to something like this will always deeply affect you… What I feel that I can bring, having come to Taiji at a relatively young age, is that I have an advantage to connect and educate younger generations- and hopefully inspire them to go out there and take action for causes that they believe in. That is the main reason I am here.”
After getting off the plane, I was pulled aside at immigration for a few hours and questioned- just simple “what are your plans in Japan” type questions.. After finally getting through- I went straight to a nearby hotel in Osaka for the night. I awoke this morning, caught the train to the small town of Katsuura and checked in to my old ‘home’… It almost feels like returning to the place you grew up in when you were younger- you look around and memories jump out at you, but somehow it’s still very different…
Tomorrow morning will be the first time I will return to ‘the cove’ since last season- we’ll leave for Taiji at 6am to monitor the dolphin hunters.. This morning between 12-15 Risso’s dolphins were slaughtered… Here’s hoping for some bad weather to keep the migrating dolphins safe for tomorrow…
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On the path to protect,