"AYUKAWAHAMA, Japan — At first glance, it seemed like just one more flattened building in a seaside town where a tsunami had leveled hundreds of homes. But survivors gathered at this one to stand and brood.
They came to what had been the headquarters of Ayukawa Whaling, one of only a handful of companies left in Japan that still hunted large whales. Those who gathered on a chilly recent Thursday spoke as if the company’s destruction two weeks ago had robbed the town of its soul.
“There is no Ayukawa without whaling,” said Hiroyuki Akimoto, 27, a fisherman and an occasional crewman on the whaling boats, referring to the town by its popular shorthand."