For decades green activists attacked Japan for its perceived crimes against marine wildlife. Environmentalists would take to the seas to hamper Japanese trawlers and whale boats.
While the Japanese are not perfect today, things do seem somewhat better than yesteryear, or at least the activists no longer attract sufficient media to make their case.
However, some Japanese do remember past crimes against wildlife and nature and as you may be aware by now, the Japanese are into some pretty weird stuff.
At least in the eyes of us Westerners.
From those wacky TV reality shows to the sale of used undergarments in dispensing machines, the Japanese are a fascinating lot.
So it came as no surprise to the BS Travel Guide team when we learned of the latest craze in several towns in Japan, particularly on its multiple coastlines.
Now before you reach for the phone to express your horror to PETA or the RSPCA or an anti-vivisection group, we don’t mean what you think we mean.
In order to honor the phenomenal sea life around this corner of Asia, Japanese millennials have taken to dressing up as seals while dancing to trance music mixed with a bed of dolphin sounds.
“It brings out my karma,” says Asami Atsuko, 21, who prefers to don fake seal whiskers rather than the full furry outfits you can pick up for 2185.54 Japanese yen ($20). “I feel at one with nature without the sweat,” she giggles, while sipping on a seaweed-based cocktail.
Seals off the coast of Japan are said to be unmoved by their new-found supporters.
Hikaru Seal Tours offers packages that include reed-canoe boat trips to commune with seals and dolphins. Photography is not allowed as it reminds the older dolphins of the floodlights used by tuna fishermen in the bad old days.