We Talked to a Whale Meat Restaurant Owner in Japan | ASIAN BOSS

Despite a long cultural history of whaling in Japan, there has been no legal commercial fishing by the country done since the 1980s. And while once a common source of protein, changing tastes by Japanese consumers and negative stigma of whaling have dwindled demand for Japan’s stockpile of whale meat. Recently, however, Japan announced it will return to commercial whaling First, we heard the ordinary Japanese people’s perception of whale meat and the whaling industry. We then visit one of the few remaining whale meat restaurants in Tokyo to see how perception and legal changes have affected business.

Hiroko (Host)
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Yuya (Videographer)
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126 comments

  1. Good on the Chef to sit down for an honest interview. Respect for that. But he is simply wrong and ignorant of facts. Probably because his livelihood depends on it, so he’d rather lie to himself to feel better…
    The whole argument about eating whale meat being part of the culture is bad. We ate whale meat in Europe too. LOTS of it. But we stopped, because the animals can’t reproduce properly anymore. THAT is how a species dies out. If we decimate them to a point where they can’t produce offspring anymore. THAT is why it needs to stop. Not because it’s ‘icky’. It can taste like heaven’s ambrosia, it does not matter.
    Please just cook something else. It’s not difficult. People are angry because you know all this but ignore it. That’s not patriotic. In fact, if you participate in the disappearance of whales, you rob that experience of seeing one from your kids, grandkids, and their following generations. YOU are harming the legacy of Japan.

  2. It is a luxurious ingredient. Several years ago I ate fresh non-frozen meat with sashimi and it was very delicious. We eat very specific whales which is NOT endangered animals, so shut your lazy mouth up.

  3. i read a news article that minke whales were being hunted and rightful reason being that their population is stable and plenty… but this chef said he doesnt even really use minke ..

  4. 鯨は絶滅危惧種ではありません。シロナガス鯨などの一部の種が絶滅危惧種なのであり、日本が捕っているミンク鯨やイワシ鯨など種の鯨はどんどん増えており、
    他の魚の生態系を崩しているのです。レポーターのHirokoさんは知識不足で勉強不足ですね。

  5. I like how this idiot references eating rabbits and frogs. Then the host says they’re not endangered. Whales have such slow and low reproduction rates. They don’t understand that simple concept?

    1. @K D yes but now that are going to do their own thing which means they want to hunt more. What I don’t understand is its a dying tradition and only a small percentage is eating whale so why push to bring a tradition back or continue something no one is interested in?

    1. @hshahahah If your gonna state something then provide proof or source. If not it just sounds like you like other Japanese here trying to hate on Koreans. Talk about inferiority complex……

  6. あなたの国韓国では年間2000頭のクジラを定置網かかったからと取ってますがそれの動画はとらないのですか?
    クジラの通り道に定置網をしかけてたまたま入ったクジラの動画が見たいです

    1. @Yuu
      何がレイシスト??
      年間2000頭もたまたま定置網にかかるの?

      釜山の港周辺は鯨料理の店がいっぱいだけど?

  7. 2019年、韓国では混獲という名目で1960頭を捕鯨しました
    [Google Translation]
    In 2019, South Korea caught 1960 whales under the name of bycatch

  8. Been to tokyo 9 times, eaten whale 3 time just based on where we landed for dinner – except once… we asked a clerk at 711 wherevto get whale sashimi. Shinagawa… three places within a km. The rarity of whale meat is BS.
    Had rabbit (usagi) in Japan just last week. Lol. Also check out the horse restaurants in Ikebukuro. Lolol, but I’m dead serious.

  9. 最初のインタビューは、林業が廃れて山が荒れてる現状を見ると、簡単に伝統を止めればいいとは言えないと思うけどな、と感じてしまった。
    それにしても、日本産じゃなくてアイスランド産の鯨について、外国人はどう思うんだろう?

  10. All human fishermen in the world catch 12 million tons fish in a year. While whales eat 100 million tons of fish in a year. The more whiles increase fish will decrease the less . And don’t protest to only Japan unless you protest to Norway and Denmark and inhabitants of Alaska.

  11. Can’t rightfully justify others cultural preferences. Countries practicing whaling should have be the head and designer of an effective preservation program.

  12. 絶滅に瀕してるのはシロナガスクジラであってそれは獲ってないって聞きましたけど。しかもその他のクジラは絶滅どころか増えすぎているし獲る際にも資源量に悪影響を与えないような捕獲頭数を算出しているそうです。ひろこさん台本読んでるだけかしらんが適当なこと言わんでもらっていいすか。外人あんたら牛も豚も食うんだろ?なんでクジラだけ特別なんや?仮にヴィーガンが何か言っているとして植物に意思がない証明はどうやってするんや?キリないわ。何思おうと勝手やが他国の文化に干渉してくんなや。そんなにやめてほしいなら金積むなり牛肉食うのやめるなりなんなりせめて誠意を示せよ。アホな外人の意見に惑わされる必要ないっす。

  13. They covered a controversial topic really well and then suddenly ppl in the comment section pop up talking about other countries also having controversial cuisines in a way to attack this video… Like.
    That doesn’t make this issue any less important or any worse covered? Take things for what they are and if you want them to cover something ask them politely. Pointing the finger at others to shift blame when you’re talking about something else is just dumb. Same argument with “all these countries suck so I don’t want my country to change either”. That is just stupid rhetoric which halts progress in any direction.

  14. Nice video.
    We see that the restaurant owner provides the whale meat because of the customer demand. Therefore, it is the duty of the consumers responsibility to be conscientious. This extends past eating whale meat.

  15. Norwegian eat whales more than Japanese or Alaskan but get less criticized than them.
    Swiss people also eat cats as Korean do but get less criticized than them.

  16. Whats with these Japanese comments saying everything is Korea’s fault. Talk about delusional people…. look in the mirror and stop blaming others you nazi imperialists.

  17. Culture is relative. If the culture isnt relevant anymore, it will be gone. Like for young japanese people in this video, itu look like eat whale meat isnt relevant again for young people (whatever the reason), and we can against that reality.

  18. 鯨が絶滅危惧種 = ×
    鯨の一部が絶滅危惧種 = ○
    日本が捕鯨している鯨は全て絶滅危惧種ではない = ◎

    あんたらが大好きな「エビデンス」に基づかない事実無根の報道をするから、反捕鯨に関して全く信憑性がないことをよーく理解しような
    こんな大嘘報道するよりも旨い鯨のオーロラ煮と竜田揚げ食おうぜ

  19. I would like to taste some whale meat someday, i mean other countries like Iceland Australia and Bulgaria eat rabbits frogs kangaroo wombat pigs sheep cows and even spiders, Japan can eat whales, im supporting Japan from New Zealand

  20. I am against whaling, but to be honest, I would try whale once to see what all the fuss is about. Then I’d have to donate 2x what I spent to an anti-whaling cause, to keep things in balance.

  21. First of all, I’m French and I can tell you that very very few people actually ever tried snails and frogs in France. I’ve never tried it and I only know one person who actually tried it before. It’s really not common to have a restaurant which serves this type of food (even a restaurant that specializes in French cuisine), first of all because it is generally expensive and second of all because usually people prefer to pay for something they already tried and like (pizza, pasta,…). Rabbit is probably more common but again, it’s not as common as beef or pork or chicken. Also, rabbit and frogs are not endangered species, or not as endangered as whales. I’m not defending French culture here, because I’m flexitarian and I think that everybody should try to reduce their meat consumption whether it’s beef, pork or endangered species like whales. Culture is not and will never be an excuse to kill whales, Humanity and Biodiversity should always come first. Yes, Japanese is a country that relies a lot on their traditions and it’s one of many beautiful aspects when it comes to this country, but Japanese people also have to evolve with their times and stop being stuck in the past. It doesn’t mean getting rid of all their traditions but only the ones that are being problematic regarding world issues today.

  22. I tell you what, let’s all meat up in New York City and try rat meet that we will capture in the subway since there’s plenty to go around.

  23. The Japanese may have been whaling for 300 years, but they didn’t have the technology they have today. If they had, then whales would have gone extinct long ago under their hunting practices.

  24. 利権なんだよ。天下りと業者だけが潤ってるし鯨肉は余りまくり。外人の偽善がうっとおしいから反発する人も居るけど実際は要らない。臭い固い不味い高いの4重苦。鯨が文化なら日本中に鯨店があるはずだが実際はそうじゃない。だって一部老人しか食べないんだもの。

  25. It shouldn’t be completely banned, but there should be strict enforcement on whaling less then 0.2% of whales each year to make sure the species grows in number first. The most abundant species in about 50 years from now can then be caught more often but still probably max it at 0.5%.

  26. I saw the documentary called Cove back in around 2011 or so. These people eat dolphins and whales. They trapped the cute species and eat them for nutritions. so much for killing as well as bad reps in history.

  27. It’s funny how people that say “whales are about to get extincted don’t eat them!!!!” keep using deodorant, a gas car, eating all types of meat (but not whale and dog and penguin of course because that’s cruel!!!! let’s just eat beef and pork and chicken and fishes but not whale who is just another fish because… because yes!!!!)
    If u really care about the planet and the environment you should care about quite a few more things that just criticizing who eats a piece of whale…

  28. どうして鯨だけが特別?と思う人が多いですが、鯨は牛や豚や鷄などとは異なり養殖ができない生き物です。人間による地球温暖化や海洋汚染でこのままでは鯨が増えまくるということはありえません…

  29. Global warming and increase in human population are causing a lot of species to disappear for good already. I personally don’t have any interest in eating whale meat, Im not Japanese, but I think we should think about our own carbon footprint and how it’s endangering all the animals. Driving to work, leaving lights on, having stuff delivered all the time, having kids (a big one) are all endangering animals… point is: unless you are living in the mountains, make you own stuff, grow you food, and don’t have any kids, don’t criticize…

  30. I used to have a lot of respect for the Japanese but seeing how they butcher the bounty of the sea with zero respect and zero regard for it all while claiming they are so virtuous is flat out disgusting!

  31. Whales are animals and should be eaten by humans…but then I think about the texture and taste…it’s not a fish..it feels too human, like cannibalism.

  32. 300 years… Yea and from available source of meat is an endangered species now. Especially as technologies developed in last century.

    I don’t mind somebody eats occasionally whale meat as far as he/she is not denying the problem.

  33. “Whale meat has been part of the culture for a long time so we are not going to be controversial.” WHAT THE HELL? Why in the world did you even do this piece? I could really give a crap how he cooks it. I do care that the Japanese fishermen continue to kill whales though. I appreciate that the young people of Japan don’t apparently wouldn’t mind if whale meat harvesting was outlawed even if the “old farts” think it would be unpatriotic.

  34. The restaurant owner appears to be a nice person. Instead of putting him out on the street and simply telling him to not earn money, the government should fund his early retirement OR fund a restructuring of his restaurant to serve other dishes that dont consist of whale meat.

    Whaling will destroy whales & surrounding ecosystems but NOT investing in vertical jobs for people in whaling industry to move to will not fix problem.

    Ban whaling and simultaneously invest in new jobs for displaced workers.

  35. I have to give Hiroko and Asian Boss so much credit for keeping a neutral stance while interviewing this restaurant owner to reveal his opinions. If I were in her position, I would have been really offended. I really don’t like his tone towards the end of the video. He definitely knows to a certain extent that what he’s doing is wrong, but he’s being annoyingly defensive and trying to spread his own propaganda.

  36. Restaurant owner when asked if whale meat is eaten frequently in Japan: “I don’t know if it’s due to regulations or if there isn’t enough to catch . . .”
    Me : (●ʘ̅ㅈʘ̅●)

    This guy doesn’t care at all if there aren’t any whales left. I don’t understand! MY GOD!

  37. If whale meat is as poisons as dolphin meat, Japanese will probably stop consuming them. If whale meat carries virus, I bet they will abandon their culture in favor of good health.

  38. ・Japanese ships hunt Minke Whale.
    ・The most endangered species of whale is the Blue Whale.
    ・The main country that harvests blue whales is Iceland.
    ・If you think it’s stupid to kill intelligent animals imagine how intelligent pigs are.

  39. If we helped whales return to their pre-whaling numbers of 4- to 5 million (up from 1.3 million today), researchers say they could capture 1.7 billion tonnes of CO2 annually – with the cost of protecting them at just $13 per person a year.

  40. Happy you guys posted this. I always like to watch food videos when I’m eating food and make myself think I’m eating that food. Whale is one of my go to.

  41. くじら、くじら、くじら。 in the 1800s the whale fleet from Nantucket wiped out all the indigenous Whales around Japan. Hypocrites, tonight 私は鯨🐳をたべたい!!

  42. I see a lot of triggered Japanese people in this comment section saying foreigners don’t have the right to criticize or whatever. It is true that not all the whales that are being eaten are endangered species. However, we should at least stop whaling species that are endangered. For example, the sei whale (10:15) is an endangered species. There are ways to preserve culture without damaging the environment. Whale meat is not part of the ordinary food culture here anyway.

  43. It’s all about profit and nothing else. Easy kill, easy money.It’s too tempting for them to let 30,000kg in one catch swim past. It’s all greed

  44. The demand among the population is obviously near 0 for whale meat…and it is refreshing to hear that the public is sensitive and seems to want to protect whales. It is really government politics and government subsidies that are the reason why this is continuing. An artificially created offer with a non existing demand. The restaurant owner i think is either being lied to about increasing demand, i am surprised he does not know that whales are being driven to extinction and this shows how little real concern and knowledge he has about whales. I hope he finds something more beenficial to him and to others to promote in his restaurant going forward. It is our call, as a civilisation to let go of cruel traditions and create new practises. Aside from the sadness of putting to death these beautiful gentle and peaceful giants that contribute so much to our eco systems and oceans.

    The government might want invest the public s money instead into relocating the workers of this fake industry to a new sector? Fin whales are like dolphins actually with w short beak they are so shy and gentle and the Danes off the cost of the Faroe islands, massacre them every year and do so with their children and families gathered rejoicing in the pain of these animals, in the name of “tradition”. most of this killed fin whales many of them carrying babies are then thrown into a rubbish dump as most people there consume supermarket food like elsewhere. i have seen fin whales at sea they are very noble creatures…i think whaling subsidies might well just be an excuse for the government to divert public funds and a great portion might not even be going to whaling at all.

    I would agree that every country should look at themselves completely and we should really just stop killing animals altogether. as in reality, we can live healthily and well on a plant based diet (greens, mushrooms,pulses, seeds, grains, seaweeds, nuts and all the vegetables and fruit that every season brings).

    Thank you for this very interesting insight into the thoughts and sensitivities of the Japanese people on this subject. may all humans introspect and improve our civilizations in every way we can!

  45. Not all cultures must be preserved. Especially those that are disadvantageous to our environment. People need to know which cultures must be preserved and which must be abandoned.

  46. Well, I respect that he’s dedicated to what he cooks. It’s like imagine if someone opened up a deer meat restaurant, they wouldn’t make much money. No one really eats it but like if it was a cultural thing, we’d probably make them extinct and/or we’d end up banning deer consumption. It’s the same logic. But I think it could be fine since the demand is so low and the price is so high. It’s a good balance. Still, this guy underestimates the level of extinction these whales are near. There are only 300-400 North Atlantic Whales left. There are 18,000 Gray Whales left. 20,000 Bowhead Whales left. For Fin Whales, it get complicated. Some say 18,000 or 100,000. 42,000 for Sei Whales. Blue Whales are 10,000-20,000 left. Clearly, it’s not sustainable. There are also environmental aspects that will continue to decline their population and WHALING will only continue to contribute. The reason why people don’t have a taste for whale now is because it was limited, now it’s not.

  47. Let me tell you a secret, we all have same red blood. Let me tell you a secret god don’t differentiate creatures based on size, structure, intelligence, smartness. You lack morality, you are an animal. And no one gonna cry if you die like animal.

  48. My girlfriend who is Japanese loves a good whale steak, I ate it and it’s like mmmmmmmmm gimmie more. I goes to Japan for the whale steak and burger.

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