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Novelist Masako Bando causes uproar by admitting to killing kittens in column

Novelist Masako Bando causes uproar by admitting to killing kittens in column | 25.08.2006 13:32 | Animal Liberation | World

Award-winning novelist Masako Bando has caused an uproar by admitting in a newspaper column that she killed kittens that her pet cats gave birth to.

Bando admitted killing the kittens by hurling them over a cliff near her home in Tahiti, where she lives, in an article in the "Promenade" column of the Nihon Keizai (Nikkei) Shimbun.
If the novelist's comments are true, there is possibility she has violated the French Penal Code.
In the column, which appeared in the paper's Aug. 18 evening edition, Bando wrote, "If I write this, I know I'll be criticized...I killed some kittens." She said she had refrained from sterilizing three female cats that she kept, and dropped the kittens they gave birth to over a cliff near her home. The novelist argued that sterilization and killing young kittens soon after they are born was the same thing.
After the column was published, the newspaper was flooded with protests. Animal protection groups have demanded that her actions be investigated.
Bando reportedly acknowledges sterilization as a way to control stray cats, but said humans had no right to sterilize other living beings. She also said they had no right to kill offspring after birth.
"I chose 'life' for the cats I had raised, but chose to kill the kittens in line with my responsibility to society," she said. "Of course I have to take a share in the pain and sadness of killing."
The Japan Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said that the French Penal Code is divided into three categories. In the case of killing kittens, there is a possibility that the medium level of "misdemeanor," which carries a maximum penalty of two years' imprisonment, or the minimum "police offence" could be applied.
"If this is true it's unforgivable by any means," a society official said. Officials are asking the paper to investigate the novelist's actions.
Speaking through the newspaper, Bando said, "I've been living in Tahiti for eight years. I've come to think deeply about 'life' including that of animals, and by extension, 'death.' 'Kitten killing' fits in with this. I expressed my thoughts from the standpoint of what living means for animals."
As of Aug. 23, the newspaper had reportedly received about 300 e-mails and 60 telephone calls about the column, many of which expressed criticism. The French embassy in Japan reportedly was also hindered by inquiries.
Newspaper officials said they had confirmed the contents of the article with the author before it was published.
"We respect the autonomy of the author," an official said. "We want to receive the various opinions sincerely."
Bando, a winner of the 116th Naoki literary award, was born in Kochi Prefecture, and is known as a horror novelist. She has written for films such as "Inugami" and "Shikoku."

Novelist Masako Bando causes uproar by admitting to killing kittens in column


Hide the following 7 comments

this is not serious politics...

27.08.2006 10:49

Hey, why did you not reply to me earlier? Anthropcentrism is all there is, there is and can be no equality between cats and humans in any sense, as we do not share any common language, we do not know what the hell it is like to be a cat or a rat.... neither is it possible to somehow step outside humanity and adopt a pretend neutral "gods eye" view and say, humans and animals are equal. they are only equal from your pretend false cruelty to animals wrong? yes. should it be reduced? yes but it can only be done so to certain limits. We are humans, it is our very nature to use the environment to our ends, and use and domesticate animals (cows, horses etc) for our use. this is what humanity is and constitutes civilisation as such. unless, as the primitivists claim, it is possible to go to to a society without civilisation, and i do not think anyone really wants that now, not even you. so, all in all, so what, this is not an issue, and neither is most animal rights. (is it left wing or right? do you know?) There is more serious politics to be done such as working to stop the invasion of iran. you need to be strong to fight capitalism, and the workers and militants need and will have meat. no pale sickly spotty faces for the sons of the proletariat. you should do some serious politics and join a marxist organisation.

sai ko jo


28.08.2006 01:44

.. is not all there is. There is also compassion, imagination, intuition, common sense and science. If we apply any of these it becomes apparant that we can communicate with cats, dogs and rats. Certainly I have never had any difficulty understanding what my cat wants, and she has never had any difficulty understanding that she is not allowed on certain articles of furniture.

If we apply the argument from analagy as a scientist would then we can infer consciousness in other animals for the same reason we infer consciousness in other humans; they behave similarly to humans when in similar situations. And why should there be limits on compassion towards animals, any more than for humans? We do not have to kill or injure or confine animals in order to live, so why should we be morally excused from doing so.

I actually find it easier to understand my cat than I do in understanding some humans who are obviously highly intelligent but have moralities that I find repugnant. But that is because of a failure of imagination in me, not lack of sentience in them.

Michael Morris
mail e-mail:
- Homepage:


28.08.2006 12:18

You have not really answered my query. we are trapped in 'anthrophmorphism" because we are humans. simply giving human characteristics to animanls does not make them human, and is also a kind of 'anthropomorphism". it is like in old fairy tales where wolves talk with maidens and peasants daughter's marry lions etc. giving animals human characteristics and imagining them as humans is not to step outside 'anthropmorphism".it is only to imagine them as human. i do not doubt that you have a connection with your pet cat, and that you have some sort of understanding, but it is not the same one that you have with a human being. your only argument is, i think, the moral one : it is wrong to cause pain or death on another life form. is this correct? then it all stands or falls on this claim. i say this. " human civilisation is itself built on causing pain and death to animals, from farming to killing rats that spread diseases, to training and domestication pets like dogs and yr own cat".... ' there is no wrong, in my view, to killing animals for food or if they nuisances, like swatting flies or mosquitos on holiday, as they are not equal to us. that said, there is no need to kill and cause unecessary pain if it can be avoided... from this point of view, which you do not seem to be able to reply to, your politics is worthless.....

sai ko jo

Shame on you Masako Bando

15.09.2006 01:38

Ia ora na,

J'ai récemment appris par des médias étrangers que Madame Masako Bando, originaire du Japon et vivant sur la presqu'île de Tahiti - dont je suis la représentante élue à l'Assemblée - s’est vantée publiquement au Japon uniquement et par pure provocation de « de tuer des chatons en les balançant allègrement par la falaise derrière sa maison ».
Dans ses déclarations, Madame Bando donne une très mauvaise image d’elle-même, extrêmement cruelle. Elle veut choquer la population japonaise, au titre qu'il n’y a que les scandales qui soient vendeurs. Ces déclarations ont donc pour seul objectif de créer un scandale afin de mieux vendre son dernier livre. Elle s’est attaquée à l’image de notre pays, sans scrupule, allant jusqu'à mentir, pour vendre son livre.
Vous devez savoir qu’il n’y a pas de falaise derrière la maison de Madame Bando. C'est une pure invention de sa part.
En outre, comme tous les amoureux des animaux de compagnie, elle est bien connue de notre vétérinaire, elle s'y montre comme une cliente qui affectionne ses animaux de compagnie autant que chacun de nous.
Nous avons, en effet, un vétérinaire sur la presqu'île. Comme tous les vétérinaires de Polynésie française, il propose d’endormir gratuitement les chatons nouveau-nés. Il est bien connu et les services qu'il propose le sont également. C'est donc faire preuve de cruauté délibérée que de jeter ainsi des chatons d'une falaise en sachant les souffrances que l’animal va endurer jusqu'à sa mort ensuite alors qu'il existe, dans notre pays, des solutions plus humaines, connues depuis longtemps, et alors que cet acte est parfaitement illégal.
En plus, madame Bando se plaint du prix des services vétérinaires pour stériliser ses chattes. En Polynésie française la stérilisation d'une chatte coûte 16 000 fcp (US$160,00) et pour les mâles elle est de 9 000 fcp (US$90,00). Elle est consentie à moitié prix aux associations de protection des animaux. Des réductions sont proposées aux particuliers ayant plusieurs stérilisations à faire. Madame Bando, autant que je sache, ne fait pas partie de la frange de population ne pouvant pas se permettre cette dépense pour la stérilisation de ses chattes.
Néanmoins ceci peut être considéré comme cher pour d'autres. Une réflexion pour établir une politique de stérilisation à meilleur prix est actuellement poursuivie par notre gouvernement qui,a pris ses fonctions il y a seulement 2 ans, après les 20 ans de règne du gouvernement précédent.

Madame Bando, au lieu de témoigner de la gratitude envers le pays qui vous accueille, vous cherchez à vous en servir comme d'un paillasson, à le piétiner, pour mieux vous vendre…
Je ne vous en remercie pas.
En tant que représentante du peuple, membre élue à l'Assemblée, appartenant au groupe politique majoritaire du gouvernement, originaire de cette presqu'île où vous résidez, je suis très déçue et choquée par vos déclarations cruelles envers les animaux et votre mépris envers le pays et la population qui vous accueille. Faire de telles déclarations mensongères, détruisant l’image de notre pays aux yeux de nos visiteurs uniquement pour vendre un livre, c’est moralement lamentable …
Je ne manquerai pas de porter cette affaire devant les tribunaux.

Madame Sabrina Birk Levy
Représentante à l’assemblée de la Polynésie Française
Vice Présidente de la Commission Permanente
Vice Présidente de la Commission des Institutions et des Lois
Ia ora na,

I recently learned by foreign medias that Mrs. Masako Bando, coming from Japan and living on Tahiti Peninsula – of which I am the elected representative at the Assembly - publicly bragged, in Japan only and by pure provocation, to " kill kittens by blithely chucking them off by the cliff behind her house".
In her declaration, Mrs. Bando gives a very bad image of herself, extremely cruel. She wants to shock the Japanese population, aiming that only scandals are selling. Her declarations have thus as only goal to create a scandal to dope her new book sells. She has attacked the image of our country, without scruples, going even up to lie, to sell a book.
You have to know that there is no cliff behind the house of Mrs. Bando. It is a pure invention of her. Besides, like all Pets lovers, she is well known by our veterinarian, in his clinic where she shows herself as a customer who is fond her Pets, like any of us.
We, indeed, have a veterinary clinic on the Peninsula. Like all the French Polynesia veterinarians, he offers for free to asleep newborn kittens. He is well known and the services he offers are equally known. It is thus a show of willful cruelty to throw kittens off cliff, knowing the sufferings that, after, the animal will endure to death when, in our country, it exists, since long, well known and more humane solutions and when this act is awfully illegal.
In addition, Mrs. Bando moans on the veterinary services prices available to neuter her she-cats. In French Polynesia, the sterilization of a she-cat is of 16.000 fcp (US$160,00) and to spay a male is of 9.000 fcp (US$90,00). It is discounted to half-price for Pets associations. Other discounts are allowed to individuals having several sterilizations to do. Mrs. Bando, as far as I know, doesn't belong to the population fringe unable to consider this expense for the sterilization of her Pets.
Nevertheless, others can regard this as expensive. A thinking to set up at better prices sterilizations politic is at the moment studied by our government, which is in place since only two years, after a reign of 20 years of the previous government.

Mrs. Bando, instead of showing gratitude to the country that welcomes you, you try to use it as a carpet, to trample it underfoot it, just to make a greater business for you with you…
I do not thank you.
As a people representative, elected member of our Assembly, belonging to the political group having the majority, born on this Peninsula where you reside, I am very disappointed and shocked by your cruel declarations for animals and your contempt for my country and its population who welcomes you. To make such untruthful declarations, damaging the image of our country in the eyes of our visitors, uniquely to sell a book, is morally pathetic.
It is bound to happen that I shall take your case before our courts.

Madam Sabrina Birk Levy
Representative of the French Polynesia Assembly
Vice President of the Permanent Commission
Vice President of the Institutions and Laws Commission

Extrait du compte-rendu du Mercredi 13 Septembre 2006 du Conseil des Ministres de la Polynésie Française :

Le gouvernement a été informé des propos calomnieux tenus le 18 août 2006 dans un magazine par un auteur japonais célèbre vivant à Tahiti, qui se vante « de tuer des chatons en les jetant du haut de la falaise située derrière sa maison de Taravao dès qu’ils naissent ». L’auteur a justifié ces actes de cruauté par le fait que la Polynésie française est « le pays des chats et des chiens errants, des bâtards qui ne sont jamais recueillis par personne » et où « on trouve leurs cadavres partout ».

Le gouvernement souhaite rappeler que l’article 2 de la délibération n°2001-16 du 1er février 2001 relative à la protection des animaux domestiques et des animaux sauvages apprivoisés ou tenus en captivité précise « qu’il est interdit d’exercer des mauvais traitements envers les animaux domestiques ainsi qu’envers les animaux sauvages apprivoisés ou tenus en captivité » : Les chats et les chiens sont des animaux protégés par la réglementation applicable en Polynésie française. Les contrevenants à ces dispositions sont passibles des peines de contraventions allant jusqu’à 150 000 FCFP qui sont doublées en cas de récidive.

Dans cette affaire, le gouvernement, qui condamne ces actes de maltraitance envers des animaux domestiques, est choqué par les déclarations et les actes de l’auteur. Il a donc décidé de se constituer partie civile et de déposer une plainte auprès du Procureur de la République.

Source :

Extract of the French Polynesia Ministers Council report - Wednesday September 13th 2006 :

The Government has been informed of the slanderous words written in a magazine on the August 18th 2006 by a famous Japanese author living on Tahiti, who brags "to kill kittens by throwing them off from the high of the cliff located behind her house in Taravao town, as soon as they are born". The author justified her cruelty acts by the fact that French Polynesia is "the country of feral cats and dogs, of mixed breeds who never are adopted by anyone" and where "their bodies are found everywhere".

The Government wishes to remember that the Article 2 of the Deliberation 2001-16 of the 1st February 2001 concerning the Protection of domesticated and tamed wild or kept in captivity animals stipulates "… is forbidden to make mistreatments to Pets as to tamed wild animals and kept in captivity animals": Cats and dogs are animals protected by the regulations applied in French Polynesia. Offenders to these measures are liable to fines penalties going up to 150.000 FCFP (US$1.500,00) which are doubled in case of second offense.

In this affair, the Government who blames these acts of mistreatment to Pets, is shocked by the declarations and acts of the author. He decided thus to act jointly with the public prosecutor and to fill a complain to the General Attorney .

Birk Sabrina
mail e-mail:

Your having a laugh right?

16.09.2006 11:27

"and the workers and militants need and will have meat." Sai Ko Jo

another pearl from the school of universal dumbness!!!!

Ian Simpson

This author has committed a disgusting crime and should be locked up. Sick

16.01.2007 06:08

animal cruelty must be punished.

Stu Kryjewski

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