Dolphin Chase Game Targets Taiji Dolphin Hunting

by Chris Corning

Via JapanProbe, there’s a bit of a kerfuffle about an iOS game meant to raise awareness of dolphin hunting in Japan. In particular, JapanProbe is concerned about the “propaganda” – the fact that the game referred to the practice of hunting dolphins as illegal, which it is not, and referring to the sales of the meat as being black market. Apparently the post drew the attention of the app developer, who in the comments section conceded these points, and changed the app description accordingly.

The debate over the Taiji dolphin hunt practices is one that can go on and on. For my part, I figure that as long as I continue eating cheeseburgers – and I don’t see any end to that on the horizon – I’m not really entitled to any sense of moral superiority over those who eat dolphin. But this brings up the question of the app developer’s interest in putting an end to the dolphin hunt: it’s something those people over there are doing that is senseless and cruel and deserves special attention, rather than the factory farming that takes place all around the world.

Even the name of the organization to which 50% of the app’s proceeds will be donated, “Save Japan Dolphins,” makes it clear that there is a very specific culprit being addressed, even if the multicultural token non-Japanese dolphin hunters from the developer’s website (see screengrab) is meant to throw you off the scent. Is it just me, or is the game’s depiction of the Japanese dolphin hunter somewhat reminiscent of an angry Mr. Yunioshi?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Chris Corning is a writer living in Los Angeles. He earned his MA at California State University, Northridge, and he works for a nonprofit agency that publishes literature for recovering drug addicts. He also blogs for

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