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160301-0012 - Flensing a Whale


Kochi Taisho 1910s Unknown

A small crowd of people watch as a whale is being flensed (removing the fatty, outer layer of skin) on Ukitsu beach (浮津海岸) in Muroto-cho (室戸町), Kochi Prefecture on Shikoku.

Whaling was first recorded in Muroto around the 1620s, but only whales that strayed close to shore were caught. From around 1683, fishermen started to use boats.

Modern whaling methods were introduced here around 1907 (Meiji 40). This however caused overfishing and all whaling companies went bankrupt by the 1920s.

The area used to be called Tosa Province (土佐国).

This postcard was published sometime between March 1907 (Meiji 40) and March 1918 (Taisho 7).

Original caption: 土佐室戸町浮津海岸 土佐捕鯨株式会社 福島丸捕獲長須鯨 解剖ノ光景

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