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School visit program

The 54th Annual Meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC), held in Shimonoseki in May 2002, set the turning point for a growing interest in matters related to whales and whaling in Japan. Since March 2003, the “Dr. Whale’s School Visit” traveling classes have been held to provide elementary and middle school pupils with basic knowledge of whale ecology, whaling culture, and the significance of whale research conducted by Japan, as well as an opportunity to experience eating a meal that includes whale meat. These classes are given by ICR scientists engaged in research of cetaceans, who will visit schools to give lessons on whales as living organisms, and after the lessons, the students are given a whale-eating experience through school lunches or in-house cooking with the cooperation of the PTA and others. Since 2019, we have been also offering classes for parents and their children in conjunction with special whale-related exhibitions held in museums and other facilities.

The Institute, through the “Dr. Whale’s School Visit” bureau, invites schools, mainly through local governments with a close connection to whales, to apply for the traveling class. The program is also registered with the “Saturday Study Support Group” of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, and the Institute will hold classes whenever possible at schools interested in our “Dr. Whale’s School Visit” educational program.

Each class includes an explanation of the characteristics of whale species (baleen and toothed whales) and what Japan’s scientific whale research programs are all about. Given that whales are a sustainable fishery resource for Japan, we try to provide opportunities such as school lunches for schoolchildren so that through their experiencing whale eating may help them understand and expand not only their interest in whales as living creatures, but also as food.

Reference Materials

The information below is available only in Japanese.

Dr. Whale’s Traveling Class Information(PDF File)

School Home Community website - Saturday Learning Support Group (MEXT)-Dr. Whale’s Traveling Class

List of Dr. Whale’s School visits through 2017 (from “Thirty Years of the Institute of Cetacean Research, Japan"(PDF File))

schoolvisit1 schoolvisit2 schoolvisit3

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