☆Visiting Suwa Taisha Shrine.
We want Suwa Taisha Shrine to stop the Shinto sacrifice ritual of stabbing frogs to death.
Don’t use living creatures!
There were more people than last year.
More people started to be interested in our appeals.
Our opinion and request have never been accepted, but I hope we can discuss this with the shrine in the future.
We continue this activity for an animal that shares with us no common language.
☆Our thoughts on the Shinto ritual at Suwa Taisha Shrine (impaling living frogs).(January 1, 2016)
On January 1, 2016, we visited Suwa Taisha Shrine to request the abolition of "Ikenie“ (“sacrifice”) remaining in Japan.
What is this tradition?
We too think preservation of tradition is important.
But “tradition” should change, depending on what people can accept at the time.
This is how we can preserve the spirit of the tradition.
It is consistent with the history of human wisdom to abolish “Ikenie" (“sacrifice”), and use a substitute.
Though animal sacrifice and animal rituals are part of our traditional culture, "votive tablets" or "clay images" are now used in substitution for live horses.
Suwa Taisha Shrine conducted sacrifices involving the beheading of 75 deer until Meiji period.
But now they use stuffed deer as a substitute.
According to one report, the Meiji government prohibited it as having been too cruel.
But the Suwa Taisha Shrine explaination is that they changed it to follow contemporary trends.
In their museum, they exhibit the deer head and skewered rabbit.
We can see the records of Shinto ritual.
They have already stopped such animal sacrifice, and use substitutes.
We think frog sacrifice rituals shouldn’t use live frogs.
Generally “Ikenie” has changed from human women, children, big animals, small animals, and fish, to food, like rice cakes.
We can say this is the wisdom of people valuing and sparing life.
The Suwa Shrine in Kyoto already uses ceramic substitutes for the frogs.
Ikushima Tarashima Shrine in Nagano enacts shooting a bow and arrow on a bridge rather than killing frogs.
We want to ask for the use of substitutes or enactments as representations of the spirit of hope for abundant harvest.
Such trends are not only found in Japan.
For example, the Gadhimai Festival, in a Nepal temple, which is the world’s largest animal sacrificial slaughter, has been prohibited indefinitely due to the protest of many people.
As for bullfighting in Spain, they are planning events that don’t harm bulls.
(In Spain, already prohibition of bullfighting is increasing, and it’s practice is declining).
Traditional cultural rituals, especially the killing of animals, is changing, being abolished in favour of the use of substitutes or symbolic enactments.
It is possible for tradition to be compatible with animal welfare.
To protect the Shinto frog-hunting ritual of Suwa Taisha Shrine, it is better to avoid cruelty.
“Animal welfare” and “traditional culture and events” don’t require a choice between the two things. It is possible for them to be compatible.
We are not asking for abolishment of the Shinto ritual, but requesting the use of a substitute.
“Ikenie” is not acceptable in international society.
Before we made our appeal to Suwa Taisha Shrine, we and another association asked for this improvement in a letter of inquiry, but their answer was always the same; that it is a traditional Shinto ritual, and they will continue it.
We want the local people and Ujiko (parishioner) to be aware of this issue.
This is why we visited Suwa Taisha Shrine on January 1, and will continue this activity.
We want to ask all of you, in the interest of international movements toward historic change, to be aware that Suwa Taisha Shrine still sacrifices live frogs. The global community is now calling the appropriateness of such religious practices into question.
Our voice is small, but we believe that history will prove us right, perhaps 10 years or 20 years later.
Thank you so much for your cooperation exploring this information.
Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue. Whereabouts of the contribution of 700 million yen in Great East Japan Earthquake related funds.
Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue.
Whereabouts of the contribution of 700 million yen in Great East Japan Earthquake related funds.
Question and reply to/from Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue about the contribution of 700 million yen for Great East Japan Earthquake relief.
The unbelievable use of the Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue donations are highly inappropriate.
It is an outrage to nationwide donors to your supposed good will project to save animals, and also to volunteers who desperately continue the rescue activity.
Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue never announced disbursements of tens of millions of yen in cash to animal welfare associations after August, 2015.
We asked them to announce information about the issue of food by “point”, which is unfair.
Now finally, their website informs on which associations were provided funds, but not the amounts.
They were criticized because they didn’t use 200 million yen for animals.
To avoid criticism, did they just scatter this money?
The nation, and it’s sincere contributors, don’t know this fact.
Dogs and cats still remaining in Fukushima don’t receive anything from Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue, and they don’t even care.
The associations that received tens of millions of yen don’t rescue animals.
They don’t even accept dogs and cats that volunteers are still taking care of.
They didn’t do anything special to receive all that money, which is from the charitable contributions of the nation’s citizens.
The nation is unconvinced by any excuse.
Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue must clarify to the citizenry whether the use of contributions of over 700 million yen was appropriate or not.
From the website of Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue:
Official regulations concerning the supplies for the urgent disaster relief activities fund:
After completion of the animal disaster relief project, we will make a report without delay, and announce it to the public on our homepage.
However, they have never announced anything.
A large amount of money went to certain animal welfare associations while we were unaware.
We, Inuneko Kyusainowa, want to probe for the truth.
We sent a letter of inquiry to Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue.
However, while our question was concerning the disbursements to animal welfare associations after August, 2015, they avoided answering that, and instead talked about the past. I was surprised that they said they had never issued the money.
Letter of inquiry to Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue from Inuneko Kyusainowa.
The answer from Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue. (summary)
December 11, 2015
To Akiko Yui, Inuneko Kyusainowa
From Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue.
We answer, below, your question, dated December 4.
As you know, Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue was a private organization.
It consisted of the Japan Veterinary Medical Association, the Japan Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Japan Animal Welfare Society, and the Japan Pet Care Association.
But it became a Public Interest Incorporated Association at the Headquarters meeting on June, 13, 2014, and founded the Public Interest Incorporated Association Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue on June 25, 2014.
We committed to enhancing and expanding business, and have done so.
Since then there have been many personnel changes of the officers and staff.
Sometimes it takes time to investigate issues regarding the old Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue.
It may be difficult to understand by letter.
If is this case, we are ready to talk with you.
Your question 1.
How did you announce the application for funds to the groups throughout Japan that participated in the rescue activity?
Do you think it was sufficient announcement?
Our duty is to support animal relief headquarters, which do the rescue activity in afflicted areas with animal welfare associations and volunteers.
This is specified in the guidelines of the Ministry of Environment.
However, when the Great East Japan Earthquake happened, it took time to organize the animal relief headquarters at each afflicted area.
Also, even after getting organized, the conditions of activity were quite difficult.
So upon hearing that, we, Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue, issued the contributions to animal welfare groups which were active in the afflicted areas.
We announced this contribution on our website and also made contact with each authority.
Concerning your question “Do you think announcements were sufficient?”, we won’t contribute directly to each relief association.
We trturn to the traditional process, whereby relief headquarters will distribute the relief activities funds to each relief group as needed.
The balance of the donations for relief from Great East Japan Earthquake was supposed to be distributed to the animal rescue headquarters of 3 prefectures of Tohoku.
On hearing from those 3 prefectures, Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue provided local budget arrangements with a “three-year project plan”.
Your question 2.
Please announce which associations you contributed to, and how much.
The issued list of the old Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and the present Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue is attached, sheet 5.
The target group of lost pet search project and lost pet protection management support project from 2014 to 2015 is attached, sheet 6.
We started the lost pet protection management support project in June, 2014.
If protection teams can’t find an owner or foster family, it is necessary to keep such animals for many years.
Then they would need means for maintenance of their shelter.
However, maintenance of a shelter costs more than hundreds of millions of yen.
Considering our original duty to support the animal relief headquarters in suffering area, that would be beyond our capabilities.
Given this situation, we continued the lost pet protection management support project.
Rather than reimbursing expenses, we prioritised, for example, pet food, in line with our findings, for the private sector.
Your question 3.
How much did you set as the upper limit of funds for one association?
As we mentioned above, we never contribute money.
Depending on the number and the type of animals that were rescued, we fund points to enable purchase of pet food, pet sheets, and cat toilet sand.
The calculation method there is 110,000 yen for a dog and 70,000 yen for a cat, in accordance with the research indicating the average life span and breeding expense of pets in Tokyo, and also in accordance with our budget.
Your question 4.
How many groups still want to receive the funds?
And how much is the upper limit for each association?
We investigated this extensively for a year, so as not to omit any associations.
However we have received a report indicating 7 associations, including yours, which were omitted.
As you know, the balance of the donation from Great East Japan Earthquake is about 11 million yen.
We are now making adjustments, in consultation with various organizations, and calculating fair support to close of “110,000 for a dog and 70,000 yen for a cat”.
1.There was the news that you used the contributions for investment, but what was the nature of the investment?
This had happened in the old organization, but we have never used the contributions for investment.
We heard that after the Han‐Shin Awaji Earthquake disaster, part of the funds established by contributions relating to animal relief headquarters in afflicted area was invested.
We consulted with a former officer, who said that the deposit brought no dividends.
So the interest was zero.
This is why they invested, to increase the activity fund.
We report about this investment is in our website dated June 6, 2014.
We already sold it, ultimately at a profit of approximately 800,000 yen.
However we established a regulations for asset management and investment, which necessitate financial guarantees. (see attached sheet 9)
2. Please answer as to whether or not you granted funds from disaster donations for the killing of brucellosis dogs in Osaka, in 2008.
We couldn’t contact any former officers regarding this matter, and we can’t explain what happened.
However, the old organization issued the contribution.
We are still investigating the amount of money.
It was issued in accordance with our policies governing unexpected urgent disasters, including natural disasters, and man-made disasters including situations such as the spread of the infectious disease.