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The Whaling Operation in the Nagasaki Prefecture during the Meiji Era : Changing from the Traditional Method to the Norwegian Method

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Other Title
  • 明治期における長崎県の捕鯨業 : 網取り式からノルウェー式へ
  • メイジキ ニ オケル ナガサキケン ノ ホゲイギョウ : アミ トリ シキ カラ ノルウェーシキ エ

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This paper aims to clarify the modernization progress of whaling during the Meiji era in the Nagasaki Prefecture, when it had been a main whaling area, and to deliberate its socio-economic characteristics such as location, capital, workers, techniques, and management. Traditional method of using nets and harpoons had been executed in northern areas or in isolated islands of the Nagasaki Prefecture. Since before the Meiji era, whaling had declined because of a decrease in whale migration numbers in spite of still being a huge organization involving a large number of workers and enormous expenditure. More compact methods like set-net and/or the American method of using guns had been introduced, though they were not successful because of their nature which requires waiting on whale migration in the coastal zone. The Norwegian method of using a harpoon-gun operated off-shore had expelled these coastal whaling methods until the 1900s. The Norwegian method was alien from those that had originated in Nagasaki City in 1897. Nagasaki citizens' agents or workers under the Russian whaling company that had operated in the Korean Sea and then exported whale meat to the Nagasaki port established whaling companies using the Norwegian method through an investment made by local capitalists. However, using governmental patronage a company in the Yamaguchi Prefecture had taken the lead through an operation in the Korean Sea and in the Pacific Ocean. In 1909, the monopolized company was established by a trust and the regulation of whaling was promulgated at the same time. The company in Nagasaki City had also joined this company.



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