Home Podcasts Ichimon Japan Did Tama-chan the seal save the world and cause immigration reform? (About Pana-Wave Laboratory) | Ichimon Japan 46

Did Tama-chan the seal save the world and cause immigration reform? (About Pana-Wave Laboratory) | Ichimon Japan 46

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On this episode of Ichimon Japan we ask: Did Tama-chan the seal save the world and cause immigration reform?

Topics Discussed

  • The story of the famous seal that appeared in Tokyo’s Tama River in the summer of 2002
  • About Tama-chan the seal
  • How Tama-chan being granted a jūminhyō (residency certificate) by Yokohama’s Nishi Ward led to foreigners protesting this action
  • The last sighting of Tama-chan
  • About Pana-Wave Laboratory
  • The GLA (God Light Association)
  • How Yuko Chino splintered off from the GLA
  • The creation of Chino Shōhō (True Law of Chino) and Pana-Wave Laboratory
  • Pana-Wave Laboratory’s caravan in 2003
  • The extensive media coverage of the Pana-Wave Laboratory caravan in 2003
  • The all white appearance of Pana-Wave Laboratory members
  • Why Pana-Wave Laboratory members wore all white
  • Chino Yuko’s doomsday prophecies
  • Chino Yuko’s claim that a 10th planet called Nibiru would cause the end of the world
  • Pana-Wave Laboratory’s efforts to construct a UFO
  • Salvador Jimenez Murguia’s experiences in Fukui while researching Pana-Wave Laboratory members
  • The attempted capture of Tama-chan the seal by Pana-Wave Laboratory members
  • Other seals that appeared in the Tokyo river system after Tama-chan disappeared
  • Whether Tama-chan could still be alive
  • And much more!

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Sources, Links, Videos, Etc.

Here are some of the English-language sources used for this episode.

Here are some of the Japanese-language sources used for this episode.

The article by Salvador Jimenez Murguia that is mentioned multiple times during this episode is called Re-enchanting a Religio-Scientific Experience: Understanding the Extraordinary Within the Pana-Wave Laboratory. It used to be available for download via this link. However, as of late June 2021 the PDF of the article is no longer available via this page  The reason for this is unclear so if you do want to read it, you may want to check the link in case it has become availalbe again.

Here is a video of Pana-Wave Laboratory shot during the infamous 2003 caravan.

Here’s a video of Tama-chan.

And here is a video of another seal hat showed up in Tokyo: Ara-chan.

Here’s a funny clip from the anime Crayon Shin-chan where Tama-chan makes an appearance.

For the latest episode of the Japan Station podcast, see the link below.

Support the show by picking up a t-shirt at KimitoDesigns.com.

Japanese Vocabulary List

Most episodes feature at least one or two interesting Japanese words or phrases. Here’s some of the ones that came up on this episode. All information is from Jim Breen’s WWWJDIC.

  • Azarashi
    • アザラシ : 海豹 【あざらし; かいひょう; アザラシ】 (n) (uk) (See 海驢) true seal (animal); earless seal
  • Agohigeazarashi
    • アゴヒゲアザラシ 《顎》 【あごひげあざらし】 (n) (uk) bearded seal (Erignathus barbatus)
  • Jūminhyō
    • 住民票 【じゅうみんひょう】 (n) certificate of residence

We Want Your Questions

Is there something about Japan that confuses you? Is there something about Japanese culture that you would like to learn more about? Is there something in Japanese history that you would like us to explain? We’re always looking for new questions about Japan to answer, so if you have one, please send it to ichimon@japankyo.com.

Special Thanks

Opening/Closing Theme: Produced by Apol (YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Fiverr)

Ichimon Japan cover art: Produced by Erik R.

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Full Show Notes

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