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160301-0013 - Flensing a Whale

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Hokkaido Showa 1930s Unknown

A small crowd of people watch as a whale is being flensed (removing the fatty, outer layer of skin) at the Abashiri Dismembering Site (網走解剖場) of the Toyo Whaling Company (東洋捕鯨会社, Toyo Hogei Kaisha) in the town of Abashiri in Hokkaido.

The area has a long history of subsistence whaling. Industrial whaling began when a large coastal whaling station was built in Abashiri in 1915 (Taisho 4).

After WWII, the town became an important whaling base when whale meat was used to feed a starving population. Later, whalers here carried out small-type coastal whaling.

The Toyo Hogei Kaisha was the successor of Nagato, Yamaguchi Prefecture based Nihon Enyo Gyogyo (日本遠洋漁業). This was Japan’s first successful modern whaling company founded in 1899 (Meiji 32) by Juro Oka (岡十郎, 1870-1923), who introduced modern whaling to Japan.

Original caption: 東洋捕鯨会社 網走解剖場ニテ鯨を解剖セントスル景

Kjeld Duits Collection
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Abashiri, Hokkaido, Juro Oka, Toyo Hogei Kaisha, animals, fishermen, fishing industry, flensing, occupations, whalers, whaling, whaling industry, work
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