It’s free-range, organic and tastes like an exceptionally tender eye fillet. I am referring to the whale meat, lightly roasted in black pepper, I enjoyed Tuesday night in Tokyo.
The Japanese delegates at the conference I am attending here in Tokyo thought it unusual I was keen to try whale.
“Its taboo for Westerners,” was one remark.
Of course whale is not on the menu here at the New Otani Hotel, but it is available downtown. It was a New Zealand friend, David, a computer programmer who has lived in Tokyo five years now, who took me to the restaurant that served whale.
Like me he has no respect for the high profile anti-whaling positions of our respective countries or the idea that some food should be taboo.
The word taboo was a discovery and addition to the English language from Captain James Cook. Visiting the Pacific island of Tonga in 1777, the Captain noted in his journal that ‘taboo’ signifies a thing is forbidden.
The emergence of whale meat as taboo is a hallmark of the arbitary and religious nature of modern environmentalism.