Road to Taiji: Prayers in the Wind and Rain at the Cove
by Ric O'Barry
Save Japan Dolphins
Earth Island Institute
It was an emotional and exciting event. Despite the wind and rain of Typhoon Talas bearing down on us, our Save Japan Dolphins Team, two dozen people from nine countries, came to Taiji to offer a prayer for the souls of the dolphins that were to die this coming year in the notorious Cove.
I'm happy to say that the Japanese media were there in force as our bus drove up, as were the Wakayama police!
I was a bit nervous that the police would not let me out of the bus.
Whew! Made it. I am very happy to report that the Wakayama police acted in a very professional and friendly manner. They have always been respectful and helpful in the past, and despite the pre-publicity of drills and efforts to control "foreigners", they protected us from the dolphin killers gathered nearby and helped keep our Peaceful Prayer Service safe.
Volunteers Carrie (from Florida) and Ben (from Japan) handed out our press packets. It is important to keep our statements in writing in both Japanese and English, to avoid being misquoted by the Japanese media.
With the rain pouring down, we made a circle and bowed our heads for a moment of silent prayer for the souls of the dolphins that would be killed in Taiji this season.
I then led our Team and the media over to the far end of the Cove, so they could see the where the killing cove was located where the dolphins are to be slaughtered.
It was a dramatic and moving event. I want to thank all our volunteers who came to join me at the Cove, despite the dangers.
A message of peace to the people of Japan in our bus window, facing the media and the police.
Thanks also to all you around the world who are doing events today to mark Save Japan Dolphins Day!
Photography by Mark J. Palmer.
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