Taiji (Wakayama)

Taiji (Japanese太 地 町, -chō ) is a coastal town in the district of Wakayama Prefecture Higashimuro in Japan.


It lies on the eastern tip of the Kii Peninsula, which is dominated at this point by their Ria, at the Kumano Sea (熊 野 滩, Kumano - nada ) of the Pacific Ocean. Close to the coast also runs the warm Kuroshio ocean current that ensures rich in fish. The municipal area is characterized by rolling hills, the highest point is 92 m and is located on the eastern edge of the district center of Moriura.

The community is divided into two districts: Taiji forms the western municipality, where the settlement mainly along the Taiji cove (太 地 湾, Taiji - wan) extends. The much smaller Moriura (森 浦) extends along the eastern Moriura Bay (森 浦 湾, Moriura -wan ) to the center of the settlement at the south end where the Yoneko -gawa (与 根子 川) opens the only river in the municipality.


With the introduction of modern Japanese community structures 1878 Taiji was appointed mura (village community). On April 1, 1889 Moriura neighboring village was incorporated. The appointment for chō ( municipality ) was on 1 April 1925.

Unlike a majority of other existing today communities of Japan, the community remained incorporation of the various waves spared. So since 1889 there were no further incorporations and the city made ​​it again to be himself not incorporated, so that the municipality with nearly 6 km ² is unusually small.

So Taiji pushed while the incorporation wave in the 1950s against this trend, as it was more prosperous than its neighboring communities, but also for fear of losing their own identity as whaling.


The town advertises that the " origin of the Japanese traditional whaling " (日本 の 古式 捕鯨 発祥 の 地, Nihon no Koshiki Hogei hasshō no chi ) to be.

This goes back to the fact that Wada Yorimoto (和田 頼 元), called Chube (忠 兵卫), in 1606 in Taiji organized whaling in Taiji founded by letting the whalers hunt in groups and may use specialized harpoons. 1675 led his descendant Wada Yoriharu (和田 頼 治, later Kakuemon Taiji (太 地 角 右卫门) called ) the " netting " method (網 取り 法, Amitori - hō ) that should be used for the next 200 years. The greatest misfortune of Taiji whaling occurred in December 1878, when on a hunt more than 100 people died.

Before the entry into force of the commercial whaling ban in 1986, much of the city's population was engaged in whaling or in the related industries. As the demand for whale meat fell sharply due to the ban, the focus of the local economy was realigned to the whale tourism.

Today, every year dolphins are still hunted, partly for human consumption and partly for dolphins, with up to about 1600 specimens were caught in 2007. These hunts were known worldwide in 2009 by the feature film The Cove and international criticism.


The most important trunk road is the National Road 42 to Hamamatsu or the Wakayama prefectural capital.

Connection to the rail network consists of the JR Central Kisei Main Line by Kameyama or Wakayama.


In the north of the church is the " Walstrandpark " is (くじら 浜 公園, Kujirahama - kōen ) on whose premises are:

  • The " whale museum " (くじらの博物館, kujira no Hakubutsukan ) with over 1000 exhibits from the 400 -year history of whaling Taiji;
  • A dolphinarium with Orca and porpoises shows;
  • The Oceaneum Marinaryūmu (マリナリュウム);
  • A complete 26 -meter skeleton of a blue whale;
  • A historic, restored hunt ship (势 子 船, sekobune );
  • The " Whaling Museum ship" (捕鲸船 资料 馆, hogeisen Shiryokan ) - a walk- whaling ship (weight: 696.94 t, length: 63,44 m, built: 1956 ) -;
  • The " Ishigaki- memorial " (石 垣 记念 馆, Ishigaki Kinenkan ) in honor of Taiji painter born in Ishigaki Eitaro (石 垣 栄 太郎, 1893-1958 ); as well as
  • The beach of Hatakejiri Bay (畠 尻 湾, Hatakejiri - wan).

In addition, there are other dolphins such as the Dolphin Base (ドルフィン·ベェイス, Dorufin Beisu ) or the Dolphin Resort (ドルフィン リゾート, Dorufin Risoto ). Another memorial is the " Hiromitsu Ochiai - Baseball Memorial " (落 合 博 満 野球 记念 馆, Hiromitsu Ochiai Yakyu Kinenkan ) in honor of the baseball player Hiromitsu Ochiai, who several times was on vacation here. She was the first memorial in honor of a professional player in Japan.

Every year on August 14, is listed on the summer festival of " Waltanz " (くじら 踊, Kujira Odori ). The special thing about this dance is that it is performed only with the upper body, as the dancers sit in boats. This dance is recognized as an intangible cultural heritage of the Wakayama Prefecture since 25 May 1970.


In Taiji is a base coat and a middle school.


On 7 May 1981 the Australian Broome sister city of Taiji was. The connections between the two cities go back to the beginning of the century, when Japan was instrumental in setting up the pearl fishery of Broome. After the release of the film The Cove and the strong national and international pressure, the City Council of Broome decided on 22 August 2009 that it could no longer continue the relationship as a sister city. However, the City Council of Broome took this decision shortly thereafter with an apology to Taiji back.

In addition, there October 31, in 1984 a domestic cities friendship with this resort Hakuba in Nagano Prefecture.